Myers, Matt

Children of the Forest

(2) PS "We are wild. We are children of the forest," proclaims the story's narrator, an unnamed older sibling wearing a fern-colored hooded jacket and brown pants and carrying a (toy) bow and arrow--evoking both Peter Pan and Robin Hood. The younger sibling (known only as Sister), wearing a dress and cozy hat and sweater, blithely toddles behind. Though the illustrations make clear that the duo is exploring their own backyard, the text stays true to the narrator's sharply etched imagination. (When it says, "We find a pioneer cabin," for instance, the illustrations show the siblings approaching a shed where their father is taking a nap.) There's much humor in the older sibling's ­hyperbole and dramatic efforts to protect Sister. In the wild woods, the two encounter a mountain lion (a pet cat), a wild beast (the family dog), a scavenger woman (their mother, coming to check on them), and more. The adventure begins before sunset and continues into the evening; the warm yellows of the sky make way for cool blues and lavenders in Myers's thick, dense watercolors. Nighttime brings shadows, and the younger sibling breaks character to run after "Mama!" In the end, both explorers are safely asleep in bunk beds in the tame indoors. An ode to the natural world--and the abundant imagination of children.


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