The Hiking Viking, by Laura Gehl/Illustrated by Timothy Banks, (Feb. 2022, Capstone Editions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781684464272
A young Viking enjoys more quiet pursuits while everyone around him brawls and battles, hollers and howls. But the Viking Games are coming, and Leif has to take part! Losing the games would make others think Leif’s family is weak, and leave them vulnerable. Can Leif figure out a way to show everyone that real treasure can’t always be measured in silver or gold? Laura Gehl tells a sweet story that values more thoughtful pursuits and a love of nature. Leif is able to get through to his clan when he shows them the beauty of the natural landscape surrounding them – the beautiful and famed fjords of Norway – rendered in gorgeous, colorful artwork. The story and illustration are reminiscent of animated favorites like How to Train Your Dragon, and the message is similar: be true to yourself, and others will value you for it. Laura Gehl writes with a deep appreciation for nature, translated masterfully by Timothy Banks. A fun and thoughtful book for readers. Visit publisher Capstone’s website for a free, downloadable Educator’s Guide.