Bathing in the Forest

Marc Ayats, trans. from the Spanish by Jon Brokenbrow, illus. by Nívola Uyá. Cuento de Luz, $16.95 (28p) ISBN 978-84-16733-58-3
A green-clad child, “the little girl of the forest,” presides over a surreal wood populated by pink squirrels: “Submerged deep in the shadows of the trees, I watch the people who walk through my home. I welcome them all with a loving embrace.” She greets several gray figures, inviting each to “bathe in the forest”: Mr. Grayshadow, who is “full of loneliness”; Mrs. Graystone, who “is frightened... as if a great weight were bearing down upon her soul”; and a nervous little boy, “the youngest of the Graystone family.” As each spends time amid the trees, color and contentment return to them. The volume’s concluding meditation only partly clarifies what a “forest bath” is—the Japanese practice of walking in the woods to lift the spirits is trending in self-help pop culture—something that may prove confusing for readers. Uyá’s illustrations are notable for their mix of delicate, folkloric detail with stylized exaggerations. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/13/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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