Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Tin Forest

The Tin Forest

Helen Ward
Illustrator:   Wayne Anderson 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Penguin, 2001   ISBN: 978-0525467878

There once was an old man who lived in a wasteland of trash and garbage. Every day he tried to clear as much of the mess as he could and yet his world never seemed to change. He would dream at night about a forest full of flowers, trees and colourful creatures and wake up to see an grey, ugly wilderness lying beyond his windows.

Then one day he had an idea and he began to build a forest using the garbage that others had thrown away. Bit by bit he built tin trees, flowers and even animals to create a forest of tin, a forest made of garbage. The old man still felt sad though for his forest was not alive, it was silent and grey.

Then a beautiful bird came to visit the tin forest and some time later it brought another bird with it. One by one, in pairs and in groups plants and animals began to colonize the forest and made it their home until it became a beautiful place. The forest was a joy to the old man who had helped create it and who had so fervently wished that his tin forest could come alive.

With stunning artwork which gains color as the forest comes alive and a simple yet lovingly told story, this is a book which will inspire many dreamers to build, to wish, and to hope. Readers will also see that we can all do things to make our world a better place and that mistakes made in the past can be undone with a little hard work and with faith that beauty can be regained where once it was lost.