Author Kate Moss Gamblin • Illustrator Karen Patkau
Groundwood Books 2019
Through gentle questions, the text asks young readers to consider what they see and experience in the forest through the seasons — animal tracks, tiny creatures in the soil, birds soaring in the sky above, towering trees, shade and dappled sunlight — drawing local connections alongside those of a global sensibility.
Stunningly beautiful illustrations show a child and grownup exploring the forest – appreciating the beauty, learning its secrets and enjoying moments of wonder, all first steps toward developing a lifelong awareness of our interconnectedness to the Earth and our impact on the environment. Includes an author’s note and suggestions for further reading.
AWARDS & HONOURS
• Canadian Children’s Book Centre Best Books Spring 2019 Selection
• Realistic, digitally rendered art is closely paired with the various descriptions, which focus on perceptions and perspectives related to interconnectivity, sustainability, and nature in all its forms. While the goals here seem to be education and nature appreciation as opposed to anything literary, the text has a lyrical quality. Grace notes in the art include a liberal attitude toward breaking the frame, as when strands of a spider’s web stretch across white space. This first in the See to Learn series is ideal for starting a dialogue about the natural world both at home or in the classroom. An inquiry into the world of nature in general and forests specifically that will lead children to form observations and questions of their own. – Kirkus Review
• Drawing on her doctoral research in sustainability and her international teaching experiences, Gamblin has written a picture book that doubles as a love letter to the forest ecosystem. The gentle second-person narration is intimate and conversational: every page begins with the question, “Do you see?” pulling readers and listeners into the world of the forest, where they might encounter “the swoop of the swallow in flight” or “the delicious sunlight, giving way to the soft darkness of night.” With reading suggestions for young and older readers, this beautiful nonfiction picture book will be a useful jumping-off point for inquiry and land-based pedagogy. The illustrations are lush and patterned, and the rich interplay between the text and images allows for this story to work well for read-alouds and silent reading. VERDICT A strong purchase for schools and libraries to encourage connection with the natural world. – School Library Journal
• … Ushering readers through seasons in a forest, See to Learn: Forest asks close-ended lyrical questions on every spread: “Do you see the animals that call this place home – the ants and the worms, the spiders and all the very tiny creatures within the soil?” … the book’s pointed questions and delightful illustrations offer ample opportunities for co-engagement between young and adult readers. On each subsequent read, children and their parents will notice something new in Karen Patkau’s detailed artwork. – Canadian Children’s Book News
• FOREST by Kate Moss Gamblin, illustrated by Karen Patkau, brings the concept of sustainability to young readers. Simple questions require deep thinking in this text, eliciting connections with time (past and future), place, and scale (micro and macro). It relates nature’s parts to the whole, and invites imagination. “Do you see the moss-covered stump of this ancient tree, old in the time of your grandparents’ grandparents, returning to the earth. Do you see alongside it, a caterpillar inching up a young sapling, both still becoming?” (Kindergarten to Grade 6) – 49thShelf