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Cover image for Arrow to Alaska : a Pacific Northwest adventure
Arrow to Alaska : a Pacific Northwest adventure
Seattle, WA : Little Bigfoot, an imprint of Sasquatch Books, [2015]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
Arrow, a young boy who lives in Seattle, goes on an adventure to visit his grandfather in Alaska aboard Aunt Kelly's salmon boat, spends time with Grampy on his float house, then returns to Seattle with Grampy on a friend's seaplane.


Call Number
Things That Go Viano
E Viano

On Order



Arrow, a six-year-old boy who lives in Seattle, goes on an adventure to visit his grandfather in Alaska. He goes through the Ballard locks aboard Aunt Kelly's salmon tender, makes it to Grampy's quirky houseboat, and connects with Grampy as they enjoy each other's company in the outdoors. The tale wraps up with a float plane ride retracing Arrow's journey.

Viano's striking papercut images capture whimsy and wonder, while her language sparkles.

Author Notes

A childhood spent on the rocky Maine coast introduced HANNAH VIANO to the wonders of life on and by the water. A decade as an outdoor educator from Ketchikan to Cape Horn added the joy of sharing her knowledge and sense of place with others. Now she connects to northwest nature and culture through public art projects, education, and site-specific installations. Her first book was S is for Salmon .

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

"For all of his six long years," Arrow has watched boats pass by his Seattle-area home and has wanted to "be carried away by one of them." The boy's chance arises when his grandfather invites him to visit him in Alaska, and his aunt offers to take him there on her salmon tender boat. The trip is filled with visceral moments, the sort one remembers for a lifetime. The Angie's diesel stove churns out hotcakes and skillet brownies (a recipe is included), and a "sea of beautiful fish poured out of the sacks and onto the sorting tables." Once they arrive at Grampy Lightning's house, which is built on floating tree trunks, Arrow and his grandfather spend the mornings fishing and the nights watching the stars. Colored in creamy shades of blue, green, pink, and yellow, Viano's (S Is for Salmon) bold, paper-cut images give an almost iconographic heft to the Pacific Northwest's whales, salmon, ferry boats, and islands. An enticing seafaring adventure with clear appeal for readers who reside in the region. Ages 5-9. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Six-year-old Arrow travels aboard his aunt's salmon tender boat from Seattle up the inside passage to Alaska to visit his grandfather on his floating-on-logs house; then he and Grampy fly back home on a sea plane. Though the story's adventure feels too placid, it may have regional appeal. Viano's black-rimmed art, with a silhouette-y, cut-paper look, is eye-catching. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A boy named Arrow recounts his journey from Seattle to Alaska to visit his grandfather.Six-year-old Arrow longs for seagoing adventures, "playing captain of the cedar stump in the backyard." He receives an invitation from Grampy Lightning and travels to Alaska on his aunt's salmon tender boat, learning about the fishing boat and its crew during their travels. Arrow and his grandfather return to Seattle together aboard a friend's seaplane. The longish story is told in a lyrical style, full of rich vocabulary and evocative phrases. Striking illustrations in muted blues accented with shapes of deep black have the look of woodcuts but are actually cut-paper designs in the artist's distinctive style. A recipe for "Cast-Iron Skillet Brownies" (like those served on the salmon boat) is included on the final page. This space would have been better utilized for descriptions of the Seattle locations mentioned in the text (the Locks and Lake Union), though a map is located on the endpapers. It shows Puget Sound and Vancouver Island, marking Seattle and indicating Alaska with a directional arrow; it is too bad there is no greater specificity than that. This intriguing and delightfully illustrated story will be of particular interest to young readers in Washington state and Alaska, who are least likely to notice the skimpiness of geographical detail. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.