"This was a terrific read aloud for our whole family. Everyone enjoyed it, from my 5 year old to my 12 year old. The illustrations were fantastic, and the story was so beautiful, it often felt poetic. It is deserving of the award it received. I appreciate the help it gave my kids in learning the geography of the Great Lakes region of the USA.
The story follows a little canoe carved by a Indian Boy. The boy sets it on the mountain from which springs the stream that will eventually flow into Lake Superior. This story tells all of the toy canoe's adventures as it flows in and out of all the great lakes, and eventually into the sea. The story comes full circle and has a terrific ending!" Laura said.
"This wordy picture book is a good introduction to the Great Lakes region of the US/Canada, especially for those who live far from this area. Each page of text has black and white drawings in the borders, and the facing realistic painting is in full color (watercolors, I think). The author/illustrator includes several technical drawings, such as how logs move through the saw mill, how the ship locks work, and a diagram of a freighter. He also includes small maps of Paddle-to-the-Seas journey through the Great Lakes and out to the Atlantic. This book is probably most appropriate for third grade and older. " Beverly said.
"A young Indian boy carves a wooden Indian in a canoe out of wood and sends him on an epic journey. The little wooden toy travels through all of the Great Lakes, over the Niagara Falls, and eventually out to the sea. Text is broken up into one page chapters with black and white illustrations in the margins that contain tidbits of information and unique ways of recalling information about lakes, industries etc. Full color, full page paintings mirror text and highlight key parts of the journey described in each "chapter." Great regional read for any state touching the Great Lakes. Also a great nature read. A perfect balance between information and entertainment. Must read/see." Samantha said.
"I first encountered this book when my daughter's 2nd grade class did it as a read aloud and had to make little canoes like in the book. I remember my daughter talking about it a lot, and years later, have finally listened to the audiobook. It is a nicely old-fashioned story which follows the path of a tiny wooden canoe in the water systems of the Great Lakes. The natural and civilized aspects of the journey are described in great detail all along the way. The little boat and the character within travel in much the way any flotsam would--trapped in big lakes, stuck in the sand, drydocked in homes for awhile. Enjoyable story which is probably best read out loud to children with accompanying details. " Michele said.
"My teacher read this book to our class when I was in grade school, and I've never forgotten it. I recently rediscovered it when visiting northern Minnesota. The book is still magical! It is the story of a young boy who makes a small canoe with an Indian boy inside. He puts the canoe in the snow north of Lake Superior so that "Paddle to the Sea" can journey through the Great Lakes to the ocean. The story of Paddle's journey is such fun, and it's very educational for young readers. I've never forgotten this book, and I'm thrilled to have a new copy for my own library. The pictures and maps are wonderful and really bring the story to life. This is an outstanding book for children (and adults too)! " Christina said.
"This book was read to me when I was a young child. My rating is from memory, although I still own the book. I think that almost all of my interest in it was based on the pictures, which really are incredible, in true Holling style. I believe this is his most famous book, and I can see why. It is the epic journey of our hero, the little canoe, but also of water itself.
The lower rating is from the subtle distance from it that I felt as a young child, from the story and its minute detail. It loses the imagination of the child in its desire to cover every detail of the journey, and I think that's what did it for me. A story in more brevity would have suited me better. It makes me wonder about the target audience. Perhaps it is meant for older children, or adults. For me, at age seven, it went over my head and lost me along the way to the ocean. " Erik Akre said.
"This book was recommended to us by our cousin, a children's librarian. This book is an interesting way to learn about all of the Great Lakes and what types of people and industries are near the Great Lakes. I only give this book 2 out of 5 stars because I and my children just didn't find the storyline all that interesting. However, I am not sure that younger children would have understood the plot enough to get much out of the book either.
Written in the 1940s, this book has wonderful illustrations and explanations of many of the people and industries that made the Great Lakes home. The book felt a little "dated" to us. Maybe an updated book that showed the history and then current people/industries that make the Great Lakes home would have been more enjoyable to all.
I wonder if you had family members who worked in the industries outlined in the book whether that would make it more interesting.
" Alysia said.
"A young Native American makes a wooden canoe with a man in it. Underneath he inscribes that its name is Paddle-to-the-Sea and asks any finders to help it on its way to the sea from its starting point in Lake Superior. Over the course of the next three years readers follow Paddle-to-the-Sea on its adventures through the Great Lakes and eventually out to the Atlantic.
I remember having this book read to me as a child. I believe my mom read it in part to teach us about water flow patterns, which seems like a big reason Holling wrote it. Holling definitely put in the work to earn that shiny sticker on the cover, the illustrations are impressive even if the style is a bit dated now. While the book was originally written as a realistic fiction, the over 6 decades separating that time from this now makes this a historical fiction and some of the terms a bit dated. Still, could be used when talking about the Continental Divide and water flow in the United States. Not sure how modern kids would respond to the illustration style. I can see many turning up their noses at it." Becky B said.