Let’s Go On A Hike! By Katrina Liu, Illustrated by Heru Setiawan (2020) – paperback
Recommended ages: 2 to 6
Also available in bilingual editions:
Traditional Chinese, Pinyin and English
Simplified Chinese, Pinyin and English
Let’s Go On a Hike! playfully encourages children to connect with nature. It features a mixed-race family (White dad, Asian mom, and their child). But there are no mentions of ethnicity in the book. It’s simply a family, and their dog, having fun on a hike. Author Katrina Liu also does not use gender-identifying pronouns which, whether intentional or not, is a wonderfully inclusive element of this book (it’s only on her website that she mentions this being a “boy” character). The simple, rhyming text makes this a perfect read for ages 2 to 6.
What a beautiful day!
Let’s all go on a hike!
Spend some time outdoors
which I’m sure you will like!
The story begins in the family’s home, as they excitedly prepare to head out for a hike. But their child is having second thoughts. It’s too hot, their feet are starting to hurt, and there is nothing but bushes and dirt!
Dad then shares his binoculars, opening up a whole new world of discovery! Before you know it, their kid is enjoying bird watching, skipping rocks, chasing squirrels, and more. All alongside their best buddy, their dog Archie.
Heru Setiawan’s illustrations provide a lush backdrop. They look to be digital renderings, but are also reminiscent of watercolor brush strokes in certain elements of the landscape. Forest and river scenes beautifully envelop the pages, portraying the natural elements as another character of the story and further encouraging children to appreciate nature!
Take-away Message: This book encourages children to explore the outdoors, especially if they are a little resistent. There is so much to explore and discover in nature, they are bound to find something they enjoy. For this protagonist, all it took was a pair of binoculars to help him see past the dirt and trees!
TAGS: male-lead, family, nuclear, family, mixed race, Asian, nature, bilingual edition, self-published, paperback
About the Authors:
Katrina Liu is an American-born Chinese mom and author living in San Francisco, California. Her goal is to add more Asian representation into the world of children’s books. She’s written a variety of children’s books including bilingual children’s books in Chinese and English for non-native speakers. When her daughter, Mina, was born, Liu searched for well-illustrated, dual-language children’s books with Pinyin and English, but was surprised at how little she could find. Committed to giving Mina the opportunity to become bilingual, Liu created a series of children’s books in Chinese and English. The stories focus on simple everyday dialog with beautiful and engaging illustrations to introduce the Chinese language to young learners in a fun and easy way. Her goal is to continue to provide learning resources for non-native Chinese speakers who wish to foster dual-language skills with their children. Her books are available in both Simplified and Traditional Chinese and include an audio reading in Mandarin. For more information, visit www.minalearnschinese.com or follow her on Instagram @minalearnschinese.
About the Illustrator:
Heru Setiawan is a talented illustrator from Indonesia and a passionate introvert. He loves creating stories through drawings. His delightfully unrefined with softly painted brushes and cozy calm colors which distinguishes his unique artwork style. After graduating with a degree in visual communication design from ITS Surabaya, Heru spends most of his time resting and making illustrations for children’s books, animations, with a small team of friends. He can be found on Instagram under the name of @_hrstwn, on his Behance page be.net/hrstwn, and of course in his small house in Gresik.
Check out Katrina Liu’s Amazon Author Page to see more of her bilingual (English-Chinese) titles!