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THE TIN FOREST by Helen Ward


by Helen Ward & illustrated by Wayne Anderson

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46787-4
Publisher: Dutton

In this parable from Ward (The Animals’ Christmas Carol, above, etc.), an old man living in a vast, gray wasteland of “other people’s garbage and bad weather” is driven by dreams to recycle it all into a forest of steel trees and tin creatures. Soon, however, a real bird comes, then another, and before long a living forest is flitting and twining itself through the metal framework. Anderson faithfully portrays every leaf and vine, every nick and rivet, coloring the junk in dingy blues, living creatures in brighter hues. Brief, large-type text in a soft gray mimics the drab forest at first and echoes the heart of it once the colors have taken over. Less developed both in art and storyline than Colin Thompson’s similarly themed Paper Bag Prince (1992), this may still furnish thoughtful readers with indirect motivation to act on their hearts’ desires. Libraries may be forced to discard the dust jacket, which has a big die-cut hole in the front. (Picture book. 6-8)