One Summer Up North

2020
Author:

John Owens

A WORDLESS PICTURE BOOK TEACHABLE COMPANION (PDF)

A wordless picture-book journey through the Boundary Waters, canoeing and camping with a family as they encounter the northwoods wilderness in all its spectacular beauty

Come along to a place of wordless wonder: the wilderness of the Boundary Waters on the Minnesota-Canada border. Join a family of three as their journey unfolds, picture by picture, marking the changing light as the day passes, the stillness before the gathering storm, the shining waters everywhere, rushing here, quietly pooling there, beckoning us ever onward into nature’s infinite wildness one summer up north.

"Debut author Owens uses no words in these pages, and readers won’t miss them—digitally colored pencil illustrations, with their impressionistic touches of color, texture, and shape, exude a plainspoken eloquence. He adeptly portrays both big geographic expanses and wholly intimate moments of an affectionate family free from everyday distractions." Publishers Weekly, starred review

It’s a place of wordless wonder: the wilderness of the Boundary Waters on the Minnesota–Canada border. Travel its vast distances, canoe its streams and glacial lakes, take shelter from rain under a rocky outcropping (or in your tent), camp in its vaulting forests as stars embroider the darkening sky. Is this your first visit? Or is it already your favorite destination?

Come along—join a family of three as their journey unfolds, picture by picture, marking the changing light as the day passes, the stillness before the gathering storm, the shining waters everywhere, rushing here, quietly pooling there, beckoning us ever onward into nature’s infinite wildness one summer up north.

John Owens is a freelance illustrator who teaches at the University of Minnesota. This book, his first, was inspired by his travels north to paddle, portage, and camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


John Owens invites readers to accompany a family into a world of pine woods and clear water, hiking through misty mornings, camping beneath the bright blaze of the Milky Way. Evocative and memory-stirring, One Summer Up North is a journey well worth taking.

Eric Rohmann, Caldecott Medal–winning author of My Friend Rabbit

It is appropriate that this is a wordless book – silent and picturesque much like the area the book is portraying. The illustrations encourage the reader to linger on each page a little and completely soak in what is being offered–creating a new story each time the book is opened.

Youth Services Book Review

If you're looking for a book with pictures that evoke a calming, relaxing feel, this could be a great read for your family!

Bawbee Books

Children will be scrambling to dust off their tents and oars to create their own memories, too.

Foreword Reviews

The wordless text evokes the peaceful quiet of being outdoors, culminating in a particularly beautiful spread of a starry sky. A trip worth taking.

Kirkus Reviews

Debut author Owens uses no words in these pages, and readers won’t miss them—digitally colored pencil illustrations, with their impressionistic touches of color, texture, and shape, exude a plainspoken eloquence. He adeptly portrays both big geographic expanses and wholly intimate moments of an affectionate family free from everyday distractions.

Publishers Weekly, starred review

By the end of the thirty-page book, the child does not want to leave the experience.


What a perfect set to give to a young one to whom all this is brand new.

The Ely Echo

John Owens taps multiple themes and wonderful storytelling through his pictures. We follow the a family as they embark on a canoe adventure with its many dramatic ups and downs, but I wouldn’t reserve this for my ‘outdoorsy’ friends only, it has broad appeal. Some scenes will look familiar to anyone who has ever taken a kid, on any kind of trip, some scenes will strum the heartstrings of passionate paddlers, and the artwork could certainly inspire many families to head up north.

Wilderness News

One Summer Up North lends itself to wonderful discussions with readers of all ages, such as identifying natural elements with preschoolers or appreciating environmental responsibility with older audiences.

Shelf Awareness

Relaxing, calming, and charming.

Living Life Outside the Lines

A beautifully illustrated wordless picture book that showcases the beauty of nature and clearly conveys the author’s love for the outdoors. Even the outdoor novice will be left longing to paddle and enjoy the beauty of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters.



TanjaBauerle.com

No words are needed in this charming picture book—just the reader’s imagination.

Star Tribune

The delightful images offer plenty to discover with younger children.

Lake Superior Magazine