Friday, June 28, 2019

MY FOREST IS GREEN by Darren Lebeuf & Ashley Barron – An artistic celebration of an urban forest

What a delightful book! This is a wonderful book for the classroom or anyone who likes to experiment with art. I borrowed a copy from the public library, but I really want to buy this for my classroom collection.

Summary from the publisher:

With art supplies in tow, a young boy explores the urban forest near his home, then interprets what he sees with his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons. His forest is both “fluffy” and “prickly,” “dense” and “sparse,” “crispy” and “soft.” It's also “scattered and soggy, and spotted and foggy.” His forest is made up of many colors --- but he decides that “mostly it's green.” Each aspect of the forest inspires the boy to create a different kind of art: charcoal rubbing, rock art, photography, sponge painting, snow sculpture, cut-paper collage. To this artist, there's always something new to discover, and to capture

My Forest is Green, written by Darren Lebeuf and illustrated by Ashley Barron was published in 2019 by Kids Can Press.


This is my forest.

Well, actually…

this is my forest.

My Thoughts as a Writer:

The text in this story is very simple and clear, creating a rhythm through the descriptive words that carries you to the end of the story. I especially liked the sense of possibility suggested by the ending!

The illustrations include many different ways children could represent a forest, using art materials as well as natural materials. I love the way the artist has used patterns and texture!

My Thoughts as an Educator:

This lovely book has a short text, which is perfect for reading aloud with young children. The illustrations are full of details to look at and explore! I loved the way the illustrations show different ways the young artist has captured the forest. This book could inspire kids (and teachers) with art adventures in so many ways.

Ages: 3-7

Grades: PreK – 2

Themes: forests, art, nature


Draw & Write: Have each student create their own “forest” using their choice of art media and write a descriptive statement “My forest is __________.” Put up their work on a display to create an even larger forest!  

STEM: Go on a nature walk and collect sticks, logs, bark, etc. Can you build a forest? Create some animals to live in your forest.

Art: Bring paper and unpeeled crayons on a nature walk. Experiment with using crayons to make rubbings of different tree and rock surfaces.

Explore: Make a set of cards for the descriptive words in the story (tall, short, fluffy, prickly, etc). Can you find something in your classroom to match each word?