By: Laura Gehl

Illustrated by: Timothy Banks

Published: February 1, 2022

Publisher: Capstone Editions


Leif isn’t like the rest of his family. While his parents and sister are training for the Viking Games, he is off hiking to some of the most beautiful spots in their land. Leif likes quiet, his family likes it loud. Leif likes to hike, his family likes to throw spears, wrestle, and lift stones.

Leif’s family tried to explain that the honor of their Clan was at stake and Leif needed to be at his best to compete in the Viking Games. Leif’s heart just wasn’t in it.

But, when the day came, Leif did his best, throwing spears, wrestling, and lifting the heaviest stone he could. When the two clans finish in a tie, it’s up to Leif to bring his family the win. Can he offer up the best treasure to be found?

I love this story for so many reasons. It’s a story of being true to yourself. It’s a story of a child who beats to his own drum. But, what I love most is that it reminds us all to appreciate the beauty right in front of us. The illustrations celebrate the natural beauty of our world and when Leif presents his great treasure, the illustrated page almost sings from the magnificence of it. Laura Gehl is wildly talented and knows how to tell stories with meaning and life lessons.

Click HERE for Discussion and Writing Activities for THE HIKING VIKING.

Laura Gehl is the award-winning author of more than thirty popular picture books, board books, and early readers including One Big Pair of Underwear, Except When They Don’t, My Pillow Keeps Moving, and the Baby Scientist series. She loves spending time outdoors, especially hiking. Laura lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and four children (all of whom are willing to hike as long as tasty trail snacks are involved). Visit Laura online at

Timothy Banks is an award-winning illustrator from Charleston, South Carolina. He’s created character designs for Nike, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network; quirky covers for Paste magazine; and lots of children’s books with titles like A Valentine for Frankenstein, Nian, The Chinese New Year Dragon, and There’s a Norseman in My Classroom. Timothy also loves to hike and find inspiring scenery along with his talented wife and three energetic daughters.

To purchase a copy of THE HIKING VIKING, click the photo below:

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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