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Children’s Picture Book Review – I Hear You, Forest

 

 

I HEAR YOU, FOREST

Written by Kallie George

Illustrated by Carmen Mok

(Greystone Kids; $17.95; Ages 3-7)

 

I Hear You Forest cover

 

When a child walks through the forest and hears its majestic sounds, we’re reminded by author Kallie George that the forest needs to be heard in I Hear You, Forest, with breathtaking illustrations by Carmen Mok .

As a new mom, George knows the importance of helping babies and toddlers juggle their emotions. And the simple words, “I hear you” let them know they are heard and they are respected. The story takes the reader on a walk, guided by the child protagonist, stopping to hear what the forest has to say while feeling George’s love of nature in the gentle prose. The full-page green palette, surrounded by yellow flowers and tiny birds, serenades the dark-haired girl taking time to metaphorically stop and smell the roses (although there are no roses just tall trees and happy wildlife).

 

I Hear You Forest int art1
Interior spread from I Hear You, Forest written by Kallie George and illustrated by Carmen Mok, Greystone Kids ©2021.

 

The young girl in the red jumpsuit lays motionless on the forest ground with yellow birds flying overhead, and white rabbits hopping happily across the grass. “Creak, creak. I hear you, Trees, stretching skyward. Are you trying to tickle clouds?”

 

I Hear You Forest int art2
Interior spread from I Hear You, Forest written by Kallie George and illustrated by Carmen Mok, Greystone Kids ©2021.

 

The words are simple but the message is strong, as Mok’s art shows her stopping to notice the nature around her. She is living in the present moment. Such a wonderful message to learn at a young age. What child hasn’t done this on a sunny day? Peaking behind the green leaves, the girl spies a nest with eggs. “So that’s where Robin hides her eggs.”

Interacting with her new forest friends, the child holds a blinking contest with a frog and sings along with the soft blue stream. Mok’s illustrations bring the reader into the story as if they too were sitting on a forest floor. Her face takes in the smells of nature standing under a squirrel-packed tree limb. “Nibble, nibble. I hear you, Squirrels, tasting treasures. Is it time to stop and snack?”

Through each lush and atmospheric page turn, we meet new animals and feel the empathy the child experiences for the beauty and marvel that surrounds her. Holding her mother’s hand, the girl simply says “I (heart) you, Forest.” As she turns, she witnesses the animals watching them walk away.

Sitting in my backyard as I write, listening to the birds singing nearby, I feel just what the young girl felt. It’s powerful, rewarding, and relaxing, too. I encourage parents to read this book to their children and then take them on a stroll through their local park or forest. You’ll truly enjoy the outdoors when you stop, listen and learn. I’m pleased to know this is the first in a series of books and look forward to reading the other books that follow because “The forest has lots to say … if you listen.” 

  • Reviewed by Ronda Einbinder

 

 

#nature #interconnectedness #communication #empathy #imagination #awareness

 

 

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It’s Another Great Summer Giveaway!

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Welcome to the Albert Whitman & Company blog tour and giveaway for summer.

Good Reads With Ronna is proud to be included in this 2013 summer tour and giveaway. We’re also very excited to offer one lucky winner a copy of When I Feel Worried signed by author Cornelia Spelman (Albert Whitman & Company, $15.99, ages 3-6) with illustrations by Kathy Parkinson. Just follow the instructions below to be entered in the giveaway and good luck! But first, here’s a little something about the book.

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BOOK DESCRIPTION:
We all get worried,  but age and experience give us coping skills. So learning how to deal with this uncomfortable feeling  from a young age is very important.  When I Feel Worried, the latest in the acclaimed The Way I Feel series, focuses on an adorable but nervous Guinea pig who needs lots of reassurance that everything will be okay. In 24 brightly illustrated pages, children will read about ways to cope with worrisome feelings and how to feel empathy for a friend who might be worried, too. Parents will be able to use the picture book as a way to open the discussion about worry and anxiety when they sense their child might be experiencing the very same feelings.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
The giveaway begins today, Friday, August 2nd and runs through Sunday, August 18th ’til midnight. A winner will be selected via Random.org and notified on Monday, August 19th. Send your name and address to Good Reads With Ronna by clicking here. Be sure to write Albert Whitman Giveaway in the subject. For an extra entry, please LIKE our Facebook page by clicking here. Find our rules page here.

Be sure to stop by all the other participating great websites listed below by August 4th for a chance to win one of the following titles from Albert Whitman & Company and happy touring. Visit Albert Whitman’s website, too, because they’ll be giving away more books in their newsletter!

A Wild Day with Dad signed by Sean Callahan; The Bear Hug signed by Sean Callahan; A Father’s Day Thank You signed by Janet Nolan

The St. Patrick’s Day Shillelagh signed by Sean Callahan; Snowy, Blowy Winter signed by Bob Raczka; The Year Comes Round signed by Sid Farrar

The No-Dogs Allowed Rule signed by Kashmira Sheth; Being Henry David signed by Cal Armistead; When I Feel Worried by Cornelia Spelman

The Book Cellar

Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks

Miss O’s Library Land

Young Adult Books – What We’re Reading Now

Green Bean Teen Queen

A Musing Mommy 

The Book Muncher

Carol’s Corner

The Children’s Book Review

Mission to Read

The Compulsive Reader

Wee Share 

Shelf Employed 

The Mod Podge Bookshelf

The Book Monsters

Confessions of a Readaholic

Fire and Ice

The Book Rat

There’s a Book

McBookWords

Crazed Mind

Tattooed Books

 

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Both Sides of Bullying

The award-winning team of Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis tackles bullying from behind a bully’s eyes.

Each Kindness ($16.99, Nancy Paulson Books, ages 5-8), an exceptional children’s picture book written by Jacqueline Woodson with illustrations by E.B. Lewis, will touch you and your children in ways you hadn’t expected and that’s a good thing, a very good thing.

Asking us to walk in a bully’s shoes, in this case narrator Chloe’s, author Woodson takes us down a path of a child’s unkindness that is certain to strike a chord. How many of us have been in young Chloe’s position choosing not to befriend someone based on appearances only to regret that decision when it was too late? Can we imagine the pain the bullied child feels?

When a new student, Maya, joins Chloe’s class and is seated beside her, Chloe turns toward the window, ignoring Maya’s friendly smile. Why? Simply because her clothes were tattered. Though Maya makes many gestures to become friends with Chloe and the other kids, they continue to whisper about her second-hand clothing and ostracize her, never once thinking how hurtful those actions might be.

One day, well into the school year the teacher, Ms. Albert, gives a seemingly simple yet ultimately powerful lesson using a bowl of water and a small stone dropped in. She explains how kindness works. “Every little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.”  Unfortunately for Chloe she realizes too late that she, like that tiny stone’s ripples, could have had a positive effect on another person. Maya does not return to school and that chance is lost forever.

Though Maya’s family circumstances are never clearly explained, this worked for me and perhaps is deliberate. Maya becomes symbolic of all those vulnerable children often targeted by bullies whether it be for financial reasons, a disability or just not having the right clothing. Between its lyrical text and the marvelously moving watercolors, Each Kindness provides an opportunity for parents and educators to broach the topic of bullying from both the perspective of the bully and the bullied.  This meaningful and moving book is a must-have that is certain to make a difference in many a youngster’s life.

Today’s reviewer is Ronna Mandel.

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