“There once was a bear, a moose and a beaver who were the best of friends, though they often disagreed.” So when the three friends go canoeing together one sunny day, it doesn't take long for them to start quarreling with one another. First, they can't decide who should get to steer the canoe. Later, they debate how best to get across a beaver dam that blocks their way. But when they can't agree on the proper course for maneuvering through the white-water rapids they suddenly find themselves in, the consequences become truly perilous. It takes a long, uncomfortable night spent stranded on a rock to remind the bear, the moose and the beaver what they often forget: everything turns out better when they work together as a team. As with his other popular books in the Life in the Wild series, featuring these three lovable animal characters, author-illustrator Nicholas Oldland has created a funny romp of a picture book adventure for young children that will be a favorite choice in the classroom. Oldland's distinctive, simple and playful artwork tells much of the tale on its own, with lots of visual humor in the characters' facial expressions and the numerous asides throughout. At its core, this is a fun, contemporary fable that champions the importance of teamwork, cooperation and communication while also promoting the joys to be found in nature, specifically the wilder parts of the outdoors. This book could serve as an introduction to discussions on animals and their environments in the early grades as well.
Nicholas Oldland earned a degree in fine arts at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, and enjoyed success as a commercial artist and filmmaker before taking up the role of creative director at Hatley/Little Blue House, a popular apparel company. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his family.
Oldland's simple text and spare illustrations keep the story moving at a good pace ... The story addresses friendship, animals, humor, the outdoors, and cooperation.
—School Library Journal
Storytimers and newly independent readers alike will enjoy this trio's continuing adventures.
It's all good fun, and Up the Creek is a welcome addition to the Oldland canon of Canadiana.
—The Montreal Gazette
It's seriously goofy and at times even silly, but still we can't get enough of this book.
—Globe and Mail