Forest Dream

Ayano Imai. Minedition, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-988-8341-64-1
Somber, exquisitely worked paintings by Imai (Mr. Brown’s Fantastic Hat) tell the story of a child who follows a rabbit into a field, with the landscape’s silvery skies and soft shadows contributing to the book’s contemplation. As the boy watches, other rabbits join the first to plant acorns in the empty meadow. Birds and insects sow seeds, and a black bear plants nuts out of a little bag. Magically, a great forest springs up where the empty meadow was. Wordless spreads show the boy wandering underneath its huge trees as the animals come and go throughout the seasons—fish float through the forest, a scarf-wearing bird perches on a branch. Under the biggest tree of them all, the boy hears a voice: “This is how the forest could be in a hundred years.” Though it’s a dream, the boy sees the truth within it upon awakening and sets about to make it real. Books that argue for environmental stewardship sometimes depict visions of damage and destruction, or deliver their messages at high volume. Imai’s gentle message shows rather than tells, offering a quiet natural reverence. Ages 5–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/20/2018
Release date: 09/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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