Deep in the Woods

Christopher Corr. Francis Lincoln, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-84780-726-7
Corr’s neon colors and joyous folk-naive artwork set this Russian folktale aglow. A mouse is first to discover an empty house in the forest—“It was painted bright white, with nine neat windows and a red front door”—and when other animals and birds arrive, he invites them to move in. Corr (All Aboard for the Bobo Road) paints the animals as flat, sinuous shapes with black-rimmed eyes and serene facial expressions. In a bewitching spread, an owl, its wings lined in pale blues, spots the house as he flies overhead, the sky bathed in pink twilight. The animals live together joyously until an enormous, butterscotch-colored bear shows up: “The music stopped. The dancing ended.” The bear crawls over the roof with disastrous consequences. Corr stays true to his folk idiom by showing the animals’ grief not with frowns or grimaces, but with torrents of stylized tears. All cooperate to repair the damage; the fox and deer examine a blueprint, and the mouse sits on the bear’s shoulder, whispering to him. The animal household embodies cooperation and peaceful resolution, and Corr’s artwork mesmerizes. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/09/2017
Release date: 03/02/2017
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-1-78603-008-5
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