There's a Mountain in This Book

Image of There's a Mountain in This Book
Author(s): 
Illustrator(s): 
Release Date: 
June 11, 2024
Publisher/Imprint: 
Thames & Hudson
Pages: 
48
Reviewed by: 

The reader is encouraged to participate, become one with the natural space as well as an observer of it, and see what variety and grandiosity nature has . . .”

In a way, There’s a Mountain in this Book mimics mountains—they are both interactive. Using fun facts and figures, diecut surprises, fold-out pages, and of course creative illustrations, There’s a Mountain in this Book teaches elementary kids how to look at mountains, how to differentiate mountain features, and how to explore mountains.

Starting with the directive of an adventure-full mission, readers are sent out on a four-mountain expedition. Part trekking preparedness, part geography, part geology, part ecology, with a hefty dose of developing observation skills, the journey is multi-pronged. We are off to the foothills of the Alps, the conifer forest of the Rocky Mountains, the alpine uplands of Kilimanjaro, and finally the snowy peaks of the Himalayas.

We know what part of the year is best to climb in these various locales because there is a handy calendar mapping out the weather for us and a page spread telling us what type of weather to look out for. We also know what altitude we are at from a key stretched out along the edge of the page at each mountain. We see what sort of wildlife is found where by the journaling and note taking that occurs along the route. Journal pages, narrative text, sketches, factual tidbits are all presented in a well-designed scrapbook/collage-like format that intertwines with and compliments Lacroix’s illustrations.  

What makes There’s a Mountain in this Book truly unique are the fold out sections whenever the explorer-reader comes across something that begs to be seen from a different perspective. For example, mountains are not just about what is seen from the outside. There is an entire other world going on inside a mountain. One of the most ingenious page spreads, “How Is a Mountain Made?” opens up various types of mountains to see the inner workings of the geology. There is a range of mountain origins from volcanic to dome to fault block mountains all woven together in one double-wide, folded-out image. Another page contains a flap that lets the reader peek inside a cave, and another that grants access to an underwater stream of aquatic life, and still another gives a sample of a wide-angle landscape across an alpine desert.

A remarkable amount of thought and analysis has gone into There’s a Mountain in this Book. It could be read a number of different ways, from cover to cover or section by section or simply by opening up to one page and sifting though it all on its own. It will only take one page to become inspired to get up and get out there for some first-hand experience. Although this topic is geared toward mountain settings, any backyard or park open space can be used as well. The reader is encouraged to participate, become one with the natural space as well as an observer of it, and see what variety and grandiosity nature has up her sleeves just waiting to be discovered.