The Path by Bob Staake: A Must Have Children’s Book

Today I’m reviewing a wonderful picture book all about forging your own path in life.

It sounds like a heavy topic, but this delightful book is sure to charm all its readers.

Book review and activities for The Path by Bob Staake

Title: The Path
Author & Illustrator: Bob Staake
Publishing: MinEdition US, April 2022

Opening Lines:

You will walk.



This story follows a path taken by a gender neutral character. The path flows through fields, forests, mountains, rivers and caves. Sometimes the path is easy but often it’s difficult and challenging.

Eventually the path splits in two and the character is faced with choices and possibilities.


My Thoughts:

I LOVE this book!

Of course, the path is a metaphor for our own lives and the many challenges we encounter. The ending is perfect (I won’t give it away) but it’s very inspirational as it encourages us to forge our own unique path through life.

The text is precise and to-the-point, but also poetic. It doesn’t rhyme; it just has a lovely, lyrical feel to it.

The illustrations are colourful, dramatic and very effective. They were created digitally and I have to say I really love them. Although there’s a small character walking the path on each page, the emphasis is on the landscape, as it should be.

And even though the character isn’t the main focus, they’re very interesting. While the colour of their clothing remains the same throughout the book, the character’s skin colour changes from page to page; blue, green, purple, red and more. I really like that, as it reinforces the idea that the character could be absolutely anyone, of any colour, gender or race.

The story has a quiet, thoughtful, and peaceful feel to it, which I think makes it ideal for encouraging deep book conversations.

As I’m sure you can tell, I highly recommend The Path. I think it’s the perfect classroom book.

Book review and activities for The Path by Bob Staake

Ideas for Book Extensions:

1. Split Images: This is a really cool pre-reading activity. It encourages careful viewing, descriptive language, and active listening.

Here’s how it works: Divide your students into pairs where one child is A and the other is B. Show the first page of the book (don’t read anything) to the A partners. While they are looking at the illustration they describe what they see to their B partners. Turn to the next page and this time the B partners describe what the see to the A partners.

You can use the document camera for this with the listening partners either closing their eyes or turning their backs to the screen.

Repeat this process to the end of the book and then share some predictions before reading it aloud.

2. Grand Conversation: This book is perfect for a couple of repeated readings and it cries out to be discussed. I would sit in a big circle with my class, and just talk about each page and what they mean and how they relate to our own lives. I think it would be a magical discussion. You can read more about Grand Conversations here.

3. Sketch to Stretch: Have your students draw or paint a picture representing the meaning the book has for them personally. Have them write or dictate a 1-sentence caption to go with their artwork.

4. Art in Bob Staake Style: The author uses wonderfully stylized shapes in his illustrations. Go through the book and discuss the illustrations, particularly the trees, mountains, boulders, river and clouds. Show your students how they’re drawn and challenge them to create a picture in Staake’s distinctive style. I think they’d look amazing done in chalk pastels.

5. Graduation: This book would make the perfect graduation book for someone special in your life!


I hope you enjoyed this book review. You can find lots more book reviews here.



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