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Are you tired of waiting for your little ones to quit playing in the sandbox and start peakbagging? Before you strap mini-crampons on their feet and throw them on the side of Elbrus, you might want to ease the transition with Mark the Mountain Guide, a children’s book from Chamonix-based climbing guide Mark Seaton.
With the help of illustrator Graham Philpot, Seaton creates a story revolving around Mark, a mountaineer, and a predictably cuddly cast of animals that includes Leo the Mountain Dog and a bunch of marmots. The book explains avalanches, altitude, and other mountain phenomena with brightly-colored illustrations, and contains a glossary so your kid actually knows what crampons and ice axes are.
But the book also includes an International Federation of Mountain Guides-approved instructional section at the back on technical mountaineering. Does Dora the Explora have that? Hell no.
Best of all, it comes with a souvenir carabiner, which you can use to bribe your toddler into sitting still while you teach him or her to belay you.
— Ted Alvarez