Through the Forest

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Book Review, Picture Book

Through the forest (cover)

Book Details

Through the Forest
Yijing Li. Newbury: Lantana Publishing, hb, 978 1 9137 4777 0, 2022, £8.25, 40pp.
Picture book, 4-8 years

“Each one of these memories is a part of who you are…”

A young boy finds himself lost in a deep, dark forest. He is searching for something, but he doesn’t know what. But then he meets a ghost-like figure called Emptiness who joins him and guides him through the forest. Together they find the boy’s long-forgotten belongings: a pinwheel, a kite, a harmonica, a broken vase… Some of these keepsakes trigger good memories, some – bad. As they discover more and more objects, the dark forest gives way to a sunlit green meadow. Emptiness, now full of all the objects they have picked up, stays behind, because memories will always be there to guide you through the forests of your life.

The accompanying illustrations are subtle and thoughtful. Using digitally re-worked watercolour and ink, Li creates atmospheric scenes with dark tones in the beginning of the boy’s journey and brighter colours towards its end.

This book will encourage children to empathise and connect both with themselves and the world around. It shows the importance of treasuring one’s memories and accepting the past in order to embrace the future. This book can also be used to help children who have lost a family member to build on and share their own memories and to prompt discussion about this sensitive subject.


Review by Ekaterina Shatalova