Gr. 3^-5. This picture-book exploration of the Grand Canyon begins with a pre-dawn storm, then follows a mule trail as it wends its way down the canyon, showing different sights along the way as the day progresses. The words and pictures maintain a quiet, dignified tone that captures the wonder visitors feel when they see this "seventh wonder of the natural world," and nicely chosen details keep the narrative interesting. The pictures are especially striking, complete with the textures, colors, light, and perspective that visitors might be treated to on a steep mule trail, all gloriously realized. The book concludes with a time line, and the endpapers show labeled layers of Grand Canyon rock. An excellent choice for armchair traveling or for preparing for a real-life trip. Susan Dove Lempke
From Kirkus Reviews
The team behind The Ever-Living Tree (1994) takes readers on a simulated five-hour pack-mule trip from rim to floor of the Grand Canyon--through millions of years of geological deposits- -and acquaints them with the ecology of the chasm carved by the Colorado River. Dawn breaks through the clouds of an early thunderstorm, summoning rim-dwelling coyotes out to hunt and eagles to soar above ``the peaks, valleys and trenches where ancient mountains once stood,'' a dizzying vista aptly caught in all its pastel splendor in panoramic spreads. The trail winds in pictorial close-ups past archaic rock paintings, bighorn sheep, Anasazi granaries now homes to squirrels, and other flora and fauna to the bottom, where trekkers can rest in a bunkhouse and mules can be corraled by the river. The return trip will take seven hours; Vieira makes plain that the canyon continues to change, day by day and over millions of years. Endpapers supply names and dates of rock layers; a timeline provides an additional frame of reference. A good general introduction to the subject. (chart, chronology, index) (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.