Tales from the Forest is a beautiful collection of original animal tales that I couldn’t resist the chance to review!
Book: Tales from the Forest by Emily Hibbs, illustrated by Erin Brown
Read before: No
Release date: 1st October 2020
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by Little Tiger. All opinions my own.
There are twenty stories collected in this beautiful book, all focusing on a different forest-dwelling animal, from foxes to beavers to spiders. Some of the tales are only three or four pages long, while others are a little longer, but they’re all short enough that they’d make perfect individual bedtime stories. They’re also a great length for newly confident readers to tackle on their own. There is some mild peril in a few of the stories, but no violence or real danger (no predators attacking!), so you can feel safe giving this to all but the most sensitive child! Older readers may find the stories a little bit twee, but the idyllic forest life this book depicts is wonderful, and ought to instil a love of nature through its cosy vibes.
The stories are split up into seasonal sections, and each really has a wonderful atmosphere, helped of course by the lovely artwork, which brings the forest’s seasons to life. The winter stories, for example, focus on frosty days and curling up warm, while the spring tales have themes of awakening and plenty of baby animals. I really liked the inclusion of some unexpected animals among the traditional rabbits and mice of children’s literature – I’ve mentioned the spider story, which was adorable, but there’s also a great story about an adder, and bats, beavers, and boars also get their turn in the spotlight, which I thought was cool!
One of the biggest strengths of this book is just how pretty it is. It’s gorgeously well-made, with leafy endpapers and really nice thick paper, and the illustrations are some of the loveliest I’ve seen in any kids’ book! I love the vibrant colours – there isn’t a single white page, as every double-page spread has a different background colour. While this could be chaotic, all the colours are really harmonious and the changes never feel abrupt. There are dozens of beautiful full page illustrations, with one for every story, and a double page illustration for each seasonal section, and even the plainer pages have inset details and borders in the same style. It feels incredibly special to read and look at.
This would be a beautiful addition to any nature lover’s bookshelf – I’m really looking forward to using it for bedtime stories! Tales from the Forest is available now from Little Tiger.