cover image The Forest

The Forest

Riccardo Bozzi, illus. by Violeta Lópiz and Valerio Vidali, trans. from the Italian by Debbie Bibo. Enchanted Lion, $25.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-218-3

From its sumptuously colored vellum jacket to its final, mysterious blank white spread, this uncommonly beautiful volume invites readers to marvel over both its daring design and enigmatic messages. Bozzi’s minimal text walks readers through “an enormous, ancient forest” where “explorers” travel an increasingly difficult journey. On alternating spreads, subtly embossed images, faintly visible against white pages, show the maturation of a human face from baby to elder, while die-cut eyes reveal startling glimpses of the wild, bright forest in the scenes that follow. Young children may miss some of the metaphorical links to a life’s passage, extended in astonishing visual details and dramatic gatefolds. But the sheer marvel of the design, together with the inclusive, open-ended mystery of what lies beyond the forest, makes this a wondrous piece of bookmaking for all ages. Much like a poem, it will evoke new emotions and layers of meaning with repeated readings. Ages 4–up. [em](June) [/em]