CHILDREN OF THE FOREST

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Two light-skinned siblings spend the day outdoors imagining they are living wild in the forest. Though the text, narrated in first person by the older sibling, relates daring escapades, the artwork depicts the kids in their own backyard. The older child teaches the little one survival skills, and the two come upon a puma (actually a house cat) and must run away, leaving their food behind. The children follow the footprints of “a wild beast,” and soon it’s time for a showdown—“It is either us or him.” The siblings conquer the beast (the family dog), and the narrator informs readers that they will eat well tonight. Next it is time to set up the tent and a warning system in case of more wild creatures. The alarm goes off! But it’s just their mom with water bottles, and soon it’s time for bed—back in the safety of the children’s bedroom. The pencil and watercolor illustrations use a combination of saturated and light colors; scenes depicting big moments fill the page dramatically, and readers will feel immersed in this verdant, idyllic world. The contrast between text and images is clever, and the relationship between the protective older sibling and the younger one is delightful. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

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