Sustainably produced and made of sturdy cardboard, “In the Forest” is presented in a large format that invites you to discover the forest as a habitat for the first time. Basic knowledge about trees, the nutrient cycle and forest inhabitants is conveyed in a combination of naturalistic Search and Find images, explanatory texts and graphics. Author Bärbel Oftring and illustrators Christine Henkel and Maria Mähler present different tree species, soil organisms, insects, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and bird species throughout the year. An atmospheric non-fiction picture book to look at again and again, which is also suitable to look up thanks to the names listed next to the animals and plants: Was that a bullfinch or a robin? Is a red deer or roebuck looking for the protection of the forest? What does oak, larch or Douglas fir look like?
Together with the two children Valentina and Linus, two drawn animal figures – dormouse and roebuck – guide the readers through the non-fiction book “Now I understand the trees”, which combines short texts, comic illustrations and photos. The factual knowledge conveyed in this way is complemented by a quiz and detachable identification cards.
The stated aim is to familiarize primary school children with 14 native tree species, ten deciduous trees and four conifers and enable them to recognize them. It also becomes clear that forest and tree knowledge is much more than school knowledge: anyone who is familiar with the forest habitat and understands the connections can actively protect trees and animal forest inhabitants. Because author Roland Bock also makes it clear: the forests are not doing well.
“Are trees part of the landscape for you? Are there many trees where you live?” ask author Elisabeth Etz and illustrator Nini Spagl after asking readers to paint a landscape in the book to start reading. . With playful ease, they succeed time and again in their informative and entertaining non-fiction book to stimulate interaction, reflection and intensive study of the subject of trees. In the interplay of striking illustrations in bold colors and clear, true-to-life texts, eight chapters are devoted to questions about woody plants: Where and how do trees live? Who are they themselves housing for? How many trees are in our homes? Is it true that trees can talk to each other and even enlist the help of insects? What do we do to protect them?
Jan Paul Schutten received many awards for his non-fiction books; His youth non-fiction book “Das Weltall” is currently nominated for the German Youth Literature Prize 2022. Together with illustrator Medy Oberendorff he has now achieved great success again. In the interaction with Oberendorff’s photo-realistic images, Schutten’s pointed texts in Verena Kiefer’s striking translation not only convey important knowledge, but they also repeatedly ask the question of perception: how do we see the forest? As a local recreation area, “industrial site full of flora and fauna factories”, place to eat and be eaten, supplier of raw materials and energy, endangered livelihood? At the beginning of each chapter, atmospheric drawings invite you into the “wonderful world of the forest”. Thus they draw attention to what is hidden and sharpen the senses for the beauty and importance of the forest. Brilliant!