A shortcut through the forest to Grandma's house produces some eerie moments — and some oddly familiar characters — in a strikingly illustrated tale about facing fears.
One morning a young boy wakes up to find that Dad is gone. And in this affecting tale from acclaimed picture book artist Anthony Browne, nothing seems quite right after that. When Mom sends the boy to deliver a cake to Grandma, he decides to cut through the forest, a route he's been warned not to take. Soon he's off on a strange, dreamlike journey full of fairy-tale allusions — a personification of a child's anxiety as reflected in the surreal illustrations of Anthony Browne. It's a haunting place where nothing is quite what it seems, until the boy — and the reader — are deeply relieved to arrive at a warm, welcoming homecoming.
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Anthony Browne is the author-illustrator of the highly acclaimed Willy books, including WILLY THE WIMP, WILLY THE WIZARD, and WILLY'S PICTURES. He is also the creator of ANIMAL FAIR, a book with pop-ups and moving parts. He was awarded the highest international accolade for children's book illustration, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, in 2000. Anthony Browne has also won the Kate Greenaway Medal, twice, for GORILLA and ZOO. Rich in surreal detail, his distinctive artwork has made him a favorite with children and adults the world over. Anthony Browne lives in England.From School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 3–After a stormy night, a boy awakens to find his father gone. The child misses him terribly, though the specifics of his whereabouts are unstated. When the boy's mother asks him to take a basket to Grandma, who is not feeling well, she warns him not to take the shortcut through the forest. Worried that he might not be home when Dad returns, the child disobeys. Starkly illustrated in black and white, with color used to highlight the boy, this forest is quite ominous. The trees are full of spikes as he enters, and gnarled with faces that loom over him on ensuing pages. The boy encounters a variety of recognizable, if a bit mean, fairy-tale characters–Jack trying to sell his cow, Hansel and Gretel, and a selfish Goldilocks. He even finds a red coat, completing his transformation as Red Riding Hood. Recalling a story his grandmother told him about a bad wolf, the boy is terrified to open her door. Yet in a surprisingly reassuring twist, he finds his comforting Grandma, who's feeling better, and also his dad. Browne's text is deceptively short, leaving much room for interpretation. As usual, his hyperrealistic, pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are full of rich details. Each child may take something different from this psychological picture book, but the reassuring ending is especially comforting. It is possible to go into the forest of dreams/the imagination and emerge even stronger.–Robin L. Gibson, formerly at Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH
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Book Description Candlewick, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110763625116
Book Description Candlewick. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0763625116 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0321773