I will readily admit that I would have never picked In the Woods up from the library shelf if my son had not personally handed it to me. At first glance, this book’s cover did not contain the elements I look for when selecting our board books. The cover does not contain the bold, high contrast, and colorful imagery I gravitate towards; rather, it features a more subtle color palette. Even the title uses a muted yellow and not the big bold fonts I usually select.
My son, however, had unmistakably crawled over to the book cubes, looked over several books, and emerged victorious with THIS book. Clearly, this meant the book was coming home with us.
Once we arrived home, we cuddled up to read this twenty-two page board book. The first four pages did not contain any story line, rather each page simply had pictures and two words. For example, page one featured a picture of trees on a hill. The only words on page one are “sky” and “hills.” After these initial four pages, the story begins to unfold.
In the Woods by Elizabeth Spurr uses basic two word sentences, such as “Fish wiggles.” to tell the story of a boy who goes fishing. After catching a fish, the boy and his father roast the fish over a campfire. Afterwards they both enjoy other camping activities before falling asleep in their tent.
The story was perfect for my ten month old because it was incredibly short. The whole book is only forty-five words long. Each page contains only two to four words, which meant we were able to move through each page easily without my son losing interest.
After reading this book, I acknowledge that it contains a charming, sweet story about a son and his father bonding together beside a river. This book would be an excellent choice for a father and his young son to read together. The illustrations by Manelle Oliphant while subdued are picturesque and match the tone of the story beautifully.
I would recommend this book for children who are 0-3 years. This book would also be a perfect option for a child who is just starting to learn how to read.