Forest, What Would You Like?
On the book’s final page, O’Garden’s author’s note explains how the idea for the book blossomed in Garrison, N.Y. “Gowned as Mother Nature, I asked each child to tell me how the forest might answer the question: Forest, what would you like? From their four hundred responses, to which I added answers of my own, I distilled a ten-page poem,” melding the voices of the children with her own. The effect is a seamless grassy green ribbon of fun with flora and fauna. Schories expertly captures the conversation between children and nature. She sets the forest scenes in large, full-bleed panels that occupy whole pages or most of a spread, representing the children’s voices with a multi-ethnic group of tots who populate the white space. A green-clad, elfin child personifies the forest, romping in the trees or sitting contemplatively by a wintry river.
“Performer and poet O’Garden’s jubilant dialogue between sweet-natured children and a personified forest offers an apt blend of lush imagery and bare-bones kid-ness, set to a read-aloud rhythm.” Kirkus Reviews
“This book is a vibrant answer to Richard Louv’s call for parents and children to return to nature for the ‘rebirth of wonder and joy.” John Adams, Founder of Natural Resources Defense Council, recipient of Congressional Medal of Honor