The Night the Forest Came to Town by Charles GhignaThe Night the Forest Came to Town by Charles Ghigna
Illustrator: Annie Wilkinson
Published by Orca Book Publishers on October 9, 2018
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Format: eARC
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From dusk to dawn a forest creeps into a town where the grown-ups are too distracted to notice. But the children do. They see greenery take root in the lifeless cracks of dull sidewalks. They see an eagle build her nest atop a forgotten fountain and saplings start to sprout in dark corners. A gray-drab city defined by concrete and steel, vibrations and notifications, transforms into a living garden where apartment buildings overflow with window boxes full of flowers, birds sing songs through day and night and children laugh and tend to their gardens. Watch as nature reclaims this town.

I loved this little picture book. One night, nature comes to the dull, drab town. It blows in and scampers in and flies in. The illustrations are whimsical, detailed,  and perfect for the story. The plants and animals are bright and colorful where the concrete and buildings are gray and boring. The rhyming text is cute and I think this would make a wonderful read aloud.

I had an advanced copy, but I hope a similar image is in the final version. I love peeking in the windows and seeing people doing such a variety of thing, including painting and playing an instrument. I have slight bias, but I love books that show artists, especially adults. I think it’s a good example for kids who don’t necessarily see their parents or other adults they know doing those things.

The joy the plants and flowers and animals bring to the city-dwellers is obvious. It’s a good reminder for all of us to include a bit of nature in our days and in our towns.

About Charles Ghigna

Charles Ghigna

Charles Ghigna, or Father Goose, lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama. He is the author of more than 100 award-winning books and has served as poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and as a nationally syndicated feature writer for Tribune Media Services.


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