Students of design will appreciate the construction and the lush, vibrant compositions; those seeking comfort for...

Bozzi, an Italian journalist and poet, envisions a forest journey as a metaphor for the stages of life.

The book’s design is clever, instantly arousing curiosity with its translucent jacket (sans title) overlaying brilliantly hued vegetation onto a muted cover. The first double-page spread is all white, containing a straightforward sentence on the verso and a debossed face with die-cut eyes through which color is visible on the recto. A pattern is established. The white pages depict, by embossing or debossing only, a sequence of humans of varying races who gradually age. These file between spreads of greenery that similarly transform from a small grove to a progressively more crowded forest, then barren woodland. As youths, the explorers study insects and invent games. Later they notice fellow travelers, whose diversity is mentioned in terms of height, shade, and temperament, with potential for rivalry or love. Some leave traces (art carved in stone), but ultimately, “there is a ravine into which each explorer will eventually fall, despite the precautions taken and the advancements of science.” The final etched face gradually fades as saplings rise through its cracks. Death is unequivocally a mystery. Some will appreciate the final blank pages for contemplation. For others of any age, confronting one’s own mortality in a context in which life seems neither meaningful nor to be remembered will be disquieting.

Students of design will appreciate the construction and the lush, vibrant compositions; those seeking comfort for end-of-life matters will want to look elsewhere. (Picture book. 10-adult)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59270-218-3

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018


This bittersweet tale takes readers into a dark, ancient woods in the American Northwest. A father and son make this forest their special place to commune with the wild, to visit with the creatures that live therein, and to revel in the mesmerizing views. One day they find spots painted on the trees, markings for loggers. The boy and his father and family ignite a small grassroots resistance to the felling of the trees. They fight for something they believe in—it is almost a sacred obligation for them—but they are unsuccessful: the laws governing private property prevail. The trees are cut and, luckily, the father and son find another stand in which to take solace. The Rands (A Home for Spooky, 1998, etc.) offer a bright fusion of the cautionary and the inspirational, and the artwork is effective in conveying the outsized majesty of the old growth. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5466-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1999


A picture book combines the exuberance of children and the drama found in nature for a sly lesson on power-sharing. Henderson (Newborn, 1999, etc.) lands on the wide reaches of a windy beach where young Jim expansively flings wide his arms and claims “All this is mine!” So it seems until the wind blows in a gale so violent that it smashes objects and tears “through the dreams of people sleeping.” An eerie series of black-and-white paintings shows the white-capped waves breaking ever higher and crashing inland; these are so frightening that Jim cries out to his mother, “The sea! It’s coming!” Happily enough, Jim and his mother are able to run up the hill to a grandmother’s house where they weather the storm safely. The next time Jim speaks to the wind, on a much quieter beach, he whispers, “All this is yours.” Large type, appealing pastel illustrations, and a dose of proper perspective on humankind’s power over nature make this book a fine choice for story hours as well as nature collections. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7636-0904-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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