Into the Forest

Into the Forest

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
Rate this:
After his father seems to disappear, a boy takes a cake to his ill grandmother, traveling through the forest in a journey reminiscent of the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2004
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780763625115
Branch Call Number: JE B
Characteristics: [24 ] p. : col. ill. ; 26 x 29 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 01, 2014

The art in itself is great but including it with the story line is confusing in many ways -- I think this is more of a reflection on "mystery" rather than anxiety. For example why do the children that the young boy meets on the way not deserve a second thought or some kind of reference before the story ends? Why are the mother and father drawn cartoon-like but in the last part the Mom looks almost like a real person? I think this would also bypass a younger child's mind but it is troubling to an adult.

Jul 05, 2011

Our main character, a young boy, wakes to find his father gone, and his mother unsure of when he will return. The boy is then given a basket full of treats and sent to his grandmother's with a firm warning to take the long way. He takes the short way in order to get the errand done quickly in case his dad comes back Along the way, the young boy encounters Jack, Goldilocks and Hansel and Gretel. He then finds a red coat and puts it on, which makes him feel like he is being followed. He arrives at Grandma's, where he finds dad. The boy and father return home to the open arms of their mother/wife.

This book What is results is a narrative mess. There is no clear explanation of where the father has gone, nor why is is at Grandma's. And if I, an adult reader, had trouble following what was going on, imagine a child.

The author, Anthony Browne, purports to have written this book to help children get over their anxieties by helping them to see that they are unfounded, but by not providing any explanations as to what happened to the father, nor what will happen to the fairy tale characters, Browne actually creates more anxiety. It also seems a bit condescending telling children their anxieties are groundless. "There, there. It's nothing. Go back to sleep." rarely works when a child has had a nightmare.

The only redeeming feature of this book are the illustrations, especially those in the forest. There, Browne, who is also the illustrator, has created images that reference the fairy tails that our narrator encounters. They are beautifully rendered, haunting and clever at the same time. I suspect that Browne drew the pictures first, and then came up with the narrative to string them together afterwards.

Imagine if instead of this poorly conceived narrative, Browne had instead created a book that was a collection of the fairy tale drawings. It could have been another Mysteries of Harris Burddick, where our imaginations create the narrative from the jumping off point of the pictures. Instead, we get a very weak artistic exercise.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OCFPL

To Top