Illustrator and author John Owens asked me to write a back cover review for his latest book, One Winter Up North. I jumped at the chance. I absolutely loved his previous book One Summer Up North, and since I’m a keen hot tent winter camper, I figured his picture-book journey through the winter wilderness, sleeping in a canvas tent, snowshoeing the frozen lakes and silent forest with family would be even better. And it was.

cozy winter bookOne Winter Up North

This is what I wrote:

“This is an absolutely gorgeous book. One Winter Up North truly illustrates the joy of winter camping, the comforts of wilderness travel, and the sense of awe this season brings to anyone who embraces it."

winter bookOne Winter Up North

John’s illustrations, page after page, give a dream-like view of what a winter outdoor camping adventure would be like. It reminds seasoned winter trekkers why they love it so much and gives the first-time winter campers a chance to see what it would be like to venture off during the cold season, hauling a freight toboggan across soft snow, pitching a canvas hot tent, getting warm by the wood stove and spending the days exploring your winter wonderland.

The book is set in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, where John does most of his winter camping. But the look and feel of the story line could be anywhere amongst the northern boreal forest.

Here is John's introduction to the book:

“It's a magical place. The bright sun brilliant on the snow, the sparkling silence—wait, is that a wolf calling? Try to answer! And when the dark descends, the stars and pine trees holding up the night, your nose gets cold and it's back to camp, to your warm winter tent, where Father feeds the stove with wood you gathered, Mother snuggles into her big sleeping bag, and you curl up in the fire's glow and know that in your dreams and memories you will return again and again to this one winter up north.”

cozy winter bookOne Winter Up North

One Winter Up North is for readers aged 3 to 10, but that’s just a guideline. I gave one to my partner Kristine’s grandson, Jude, who just turned one. He flipped through the pages in awe. I also gave one to my winter camping buddy Andy for his 59th birthday. He relished every page, and then set it up for display above the mantle of his fireplace.

The book is published by the University of Minnesota Press and is available on Amazon and at various independent bookstores.

image of the book coverOne Winter Up North

Check out John’s website here.