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A Native American boy and his grandfather spend a full day in the wilderness. From a morning encounter with a family of loons on the lake, to an evening face-off with some wolves, the child is reassured by his grandfather’s presence and wisdom. Quiet in tone, the contemplative first-person narrative brings the Ojibway view of the world into focus. The idea that people are part of nature and must respect both land and animals is never directly stated but is clearly shown. The full- and double-page watercolors are attractive and somewhat photographic in nature.
From the first words of Morning on the Lake, it’s evident the author has an abundance of love and respect for the force of nature in all its magnificence. And, as we follow the young native protagonist and his grandfather, the call of the wild sounds ever more clear. Early one morning, the boy and his grandfather set off in their canoe and are rewarded with a rare glimpse of a family of loons. Later that day, they climb to the top of a hill and have an encounter with a bald eagle. And in the still night, the boy comes face to face with a pack of wolves. In this boy’s traditional world, nature is given very human qualities which can set the heart a-thumping as well as soothe the spirit. Karen Reczuch’s tranquil illustrations lovingly portray the relationship between man and his surroundings.