Thursday, May 13, 2010


Paddle-to-the-Sea (Sandpiper Books) 
Holling Clancy Holling 1969

A library discard, I picked this up for the illustrations and the reference to the 1000 Islands (which is where my dad’s family is from and we like to vacation to).

Originally published in 1941 and a Caldecott winner, the story is about an Indian boy in Canada who carves a little wooden figure in a canoe and names him “Paddle to the Sea”.

The snow will melt and the water will run downhill to the river, on down to the Great Lakes, down again and on at last to the sea. You will go with the water and you will have adventures that I would like to have.

He sets him in the snow so that the spring thaw will lead him to the creek, then, the river, then the great lakes and eventually out to the ocean. People find him along the way and mark their towns along his copper bottom.

One night Paddle passed the dim shapes of islands. Morning found him in wide Thunder Bay. Big ships came near churning the water into green froth and tossing Paddle over and over in their waves.

The author also manages to do a nice job of weaving facts about the lakes and nature into the story without disrupting it.


  1. We love this book, too, and have used it as a base for studying the Great Lakes and Michigan history. It was especially fun to be able to go to the Soo Locks and even ride through them.