|A YEAR IN THE WOODS ¬© 2017|
Author: Henry David Thoreau / Illustrator: Giovanni Manna
School Library Journal, Deidre Winterhalter, September 2017
Lush watercolors illuminate this child-friendly adaptation of Thoreauís Walden. Beginning with a preface introducing Thoreauís experiment opposite a depiction of a wintry moonrise, the book is a lovely pairing of text and image. Spreads of landscapes complement spare text, some of which is in bold for emphasis. The layout depicting Thoreauís construction of his house invites a subtle comparison to nest building in words and pictures. Wildlife appears in animated-looking presentations. Thoreauís ďbest room,Ē the pine forest, is portrayed in a rich, verdant spread featuring the figure of the man himself. Thoreau is shown cultivating his crops, building his home, and wandering in luscious meadows. Despite the volumeís appeal, there may be confusion for readers who know that the Walden project took two years. (This volume intentionally condenses the experience into one year for the purpose of structure.) Additionally, the autumn season is missing. Readers experience spring, summer, winter, and spring again. A quiet, reflective trek through a moment in U.S. literature and history that is notable for its beautiful art. Consider for thoughtful readers.