Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review - My Forest Is Green

My Forest Is Green
by Darren Lebeuf
illustrated by Ashley Barron
Date: 2019
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

With art supplies in tow, a young boy explores the urban forest near his home, then interprets what he sees with his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons. His forest is both "fluffy" and "prickly," "dense" and "sparse," "crispy" and "soft." It's also "scattered and soggy, and spotted and foggy." His forest is made up of many colors --- but he decides that "mostly it's green." Each aspect of the forest inspires the boy to create a different kind of art: charcoal rubbing, rock art, photography, sponge painting, snow sculpture, cut-paper collage. To this artist, there's always something new to discover, and to capture!

In this delightful picture book, Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, encourages small children to look closer at and appreciate the nature that surrounds them. And by providing such a broad range of ideas for artistic expression, it's sure to awaken the nature artist in every child. Bright, deeply textured illustrations by Ashley Barron bring the forest and the boy's artworks to vivid life. This story provides an excellent depiction of nature-based education in an outdoor classroom. The specificity of the concrete and abstract adjectives used in the text works as a perfect complement to primary science lessons on investigating, comparing and identifying the physical characteristics of plants and animals. This book also makes for an enjoyable, lyrical read-aloud.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I really like this book! It's a simple premise about appreciating nature, as well as that nature being an inspiration for art.

The child narrator talks about his forest and describes it using many different terms (making this a great book for teaching vocabulary words). Each page features beautiful cut-paper illustrations of the boy exploring his forest and making art using various media: he paints rocks, takes photos, builds snow creatures, paints, cuts paper... and even makes an inuksuk! The illustrations are really cute and colourful, showing all the different ways that the boy honours the forest he so loves.

With a strong message about nature appreciation and creativity--paired with gorgeous illustrations--this is a great book for young environmentalists and/or budding artists.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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