________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 23. . . .February 16, 2018


Forest Baby.

Laurie Elmquist. Illustrated by Shantala Robinson.
Victoria, BC: Orca, March, 2018.
24 pp., board book, pdf & epub, $9.95 (bb.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1333-5 (bb.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1334-2 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1335-9 (epub).

Preschool / Birth-age 3.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Over my shoulder you peer at the world
Reach to leafy maples with winged seeds
Bend to a painted turtle stretching in the sun
At the lake’s edge foam lifts in the wind
Fish swirl below the surface - a school of minnows


From his vantage point in a carrier on his mother’s back, a baby gazes at some of nature’s wonders as his mom hikes along a forest trail in early autumn. As they venture further into the forest, mother and baby see a tall maple tree, a turtle basking in the sun, a school of minnows in a lake, a jewel-toned dragonfly, butterflies flitting about, and lilies that resemble a blanket of stars.

      Forest Baby is a “quiet” book with lyrical text that echoes the rocking movement of the mother’s steps as she walks along the trail. Painted collages, many of them rendered in blues, greens and golds, and some drawn from different perspectives, are well-suited to the text. Though the board book is lovely, some of the language will be lost on the very young, making it more of a gift book for new parents. Nevertheless, it is worthy of purchase and sure to inspire the beginnings of an appreciation of nature.


Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

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