Sophisticated vocabulary marks this French import as a board book for quiet sharing with older toddlers and preschoolers.
Cleverly layered, extra-thick die-cut pages depict an ever changing temperate forest landscape. Each page is shaped like a different (stylized) tree. Seen closed, the extra-thick pages form a complex forest environment. The varied shapes invite little children to explore this idealized woodland. Each page turn creates a new scene with animals native to the forest on each spread. Unnamed but mostly recognizable creatures—a fox, several birds, a hedgehog, a brown bear, a black bear, a wild boar, a deer, an owl, pink and blue bunnies, a squirrel, a snail, and a bee—gaze directly at readers with large, dark eyes. The story begins with a simple declaration: “In the forest, seasons change.” Following this, five to eight words per spread describe spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The poetic descriptions in the uncredited text may puzzle literal-minded toddlers. “Spring brings babies and blooms” and “Autumn is both bright and brown” will evoke more questions than answers. Words such as “summons” and “countless” are not standard toddler vocabulary. Still, the small trim, graspable and sturdy shapes, and colorful pictures may be enough to draw youngsters in for multiple readings.
A pleasure to hold and lovely to look at again and again. (Board book. 2-4)