cover image Fighting for the Forest

Fighting for the Forest

Gloria Rand. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-5466-8

The Rands (Salty Dog) tell of a boy's valiant efforts to save an ancient forest in this straightforward picture book. The boy and his father love to hike through a favorite old-growth forest. One day, the pair discovers blue paint spots on the towering trunks, and Dad explains that loggers are about to destroy their special retreat--the woodsy smell, the elk trails, the places where deer rested, the birds. But the son has a plan. He ties red ribbons around each trunk and rallies conservation volunteers who wave ""Save this forest"" signs as TV cameras roll. But the excitement is short-lived: ""Two days later, Dad and I watched from a nearby ridge as old giants, still wearing their red ribbons, shook the earth as they hit the ground."" The story ends on a hopeful note, however, as the duo discovers another, more remote forest (an author's note says their next attempt to save the trees was a success). The text convincingly captures a child's idealism and determination to save the refuge he loves, while the art effectively contrasts the awe-inspiring heights of the trees with the diminutive figures of father and son at their roots. Even children who've never experienced the majesty of the redwoods or other Pacific Northwest giants will respond to the closing spread of a forest stretching to the sky, encircling a lone bird. A ""Trail Guide"" endnote offers some tips on tracking, tree identification and berrying. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)