Publisher: Philomel , New York
Publication Date: 2007
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
4to. Glossy pictorial paper over boards, pictorial dust jacket. (Ca. 50pp). Numerous color illustrations, pictorial endpapers. Fine/fine. A superb, pristine first edition of this powerful modern-day "Call of the Wild" tale, featuring the author's fine illustrations throughout. Boldly signed by Blake in black ballpoint on inner flyleaf. Bookseller Inventory # 40318
Synopsis: For as long as he could remember, Johnnie has longed to go off hunting with Pa and their dog, Swift. Now the much-anticipated day has arrived, but Johnnie?s first hunt comes to an abrupt end when a grizzly bear attacks Pa, leaving him wounded and unable to walk. ?Listen to the dog,? his father urges him as the boy starts out into the treacherous forest, led by the knowledgeable Swift, on a daring rescue mission to save his father.
More than a book about an Alaskan boy and his dog, Swift is a story of trust and courage, a perfect companion to Togo and Akiak.
From School Library Journal:
Grade 2?4?Johnnie tells of his first bear-hunting expedition in the Alaskan Wilderness with his dad and their "knowledgeable" dog, Swift. On the third day of their trip, a grizzly crashes out of the woods and attacks them. When Johnnie's father shoots and misses the bear and instead breaks his leg, he tells his son to take the dog and go for help. The dramatic oil paintings are a blend of realistic and impressionistic style created with a thickly layered palette whose texture helps convey the haunting grandeur and loneliness of various landscapes of forest, tundra, mountains, and river; the cold is palpable. The compressed text describes in staccato style some exciting events; but it lacks character development and context. Some of the elements are not fully credible. At one point, Johnnie falls into an "icy" beaver pond, and later, he cannot make a fire because his matches are wet; it seems somewhat unbelievable that he can survive the cold and snow despite his frozen feet and frozen clothing. An endpaper map suggests an immensity of space but does not convey a realistic sense of either the distance or the amount of time that the boy travels. Still, the art is spectacular, and worth sharing with children.? Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
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