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Children's Fiction General

Marisa and the Mountains

by (author) George M. Johnson

illustrated by Chelsea O'Byrne

Simply Read Books
Initial publish date
Feb 2021
General, General, Travel
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
k to 3
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Marisa lives in the mountains—and she does not like them.

Although they are fun to bike or toboggan down, they are such a pain to climb back up. They cast long shadows, and swallow the sun in the evening before before playtime is done. So, when it’s time to visit her cousin in the flat prairies, Marisa can’t wait. She won’t miss the mountains—not even a little. But is she sure...? This beautiful debut book by George M. Johnson and Chelsea O'Byrne a celebration of place and what it means to love your home.

About the authors

George grew up in Waterdown, Ontario, where he has fond early memories of weekly trips to the library with his Dad, an English teacher, and where he later worked (and read) as a student. For over 25 years he has been a Professor in the English and Modern Languages Department at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, where he teaches creative writing and Modern literature. Canoeing, camping, and cross-country skiing count among his outdoor passions. Living surrounded by mountains, with a wife from the prairies, inspired him to write “Marisa and the Mountains".

George M. Johnson's profile page

CHELSEA O’BYRNE is a freelance illustrator and art instructor based in Vancouver, BC. She graduated from Emily Carr University with a BFA in illustration. She has also illustrated Hello, Crow! written by Candace Savage, and Marisa and the Mountains, written by George M. Johnson.


Chelsea O'Byrne's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Marisa and the Mountains:

"Recommended. The illustrations are excellent, drawn with innocence and an almost child-like quality, and truly show an understanding and appreciation of these contrasting landscapes. Detailed colour pencil with subtle watercolour shading on a muted palette of blue-green hues encapsulate mountain living. When the heroine travels to the Prairies, the overall colour tone changes distinctively to bright yellows that contrast sharply and effectively with the moody blues of a thunderstorm and bright blue skies with delicate wisps of cloud." — CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"This is a sweet and simple story of acceptance and adjustment. There's an old saying, that those things we know all too well press us the hardest. Marisa knew well the joys and the limitations of the mountains. She longed for new spaces and new places. Opportunity granted her desire to be free from them, for a time. And, in that opportunity, she came to peace with them. I loved the author's captivating descriptions of the mountains and the sweetness of coming to terms with our surroundings. (Ages 4-8)" — MBR: Children's Bookwatch, Darleen Wohlfeil

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