Have you ever read a book, absolutely loved it and wanted to literally jump into the story and spend time in it, even just for a little while? (Kind of like the carnival chalk scene in Mary Poppins.) That’s how I felt when I first read Arrow to Alaska. The setting is the Pacific Northwest and is illustrated like a dream in dramatic and otherworldly papercut images by artist/author Hannah Viano. First of all, I have to confess that I’ve always wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest ever since I was a teenager (even for just a few months) but I’ve never gotten around to it, save for one afternoon spent in Ashland, Oregon. This book serves as a stunning reminder that I need to return one day (now with my family in tow)!
Arrow, a six-year-old boy, spends his evenings listening to the boats sound off near his coastal abode in Seattle. One day his grandfather proposes that he come to visit him on his houseboat in Alaska. Arrow jumps at the chance to take what will be *the adventure* of his six-year-old lifetime and hitches a ride with his Aunt Kelly on her salmon tender boat, with “the giant diesel stove” in the galley churning out “towering stacks of hotcakes, cast-iron skillets full of brownies, and endless pots of hot chocolate and coffee.” And that’s just how Arrow’s voyage starts—can you imagine how it ends?! It’s hard to stop thinking about this exquisite tale. If the PNW life resonates with you at all, you’ll love and get caught up in the magic of Hannah Viano’s work.