In her first children’s book, Polish artist Dek paints and writes about exploring the wild, and one wild place in particular: “In the forest, wonders await.” Simple, childlike watercolors show a boy standing in a wide-open space at the edge of a stand of trees. They’re painted separately and carefully: slender conifers alternate with leafy-crowned deciduous specimens. A page turn, and viewers find themselves amidst the trees. Great trunks reach high; birds sail back and forth. The text is spare: “It’s the best playground ever.” Small vignettes show the boy looking at a group of objects he’s gathered, dragging a stick as he walks, running to catch a dragonfly. Dek pays attention to the forms and texture of the things that grow in the forest, and to the chance discoveries it can provide, as when readers spot just the back of a deer (“Look!”). Treasures—a pinecone, a rock, a butterfly wing—are laid out as a collection. Dek’s invitation to explore the forest’s magic and to leave behind civilization, vehicles, technology—even other people—feels honest and strikingly personal. Her story itself is a journey. Ages 3–6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017 Release date: 04/01/2017 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.