Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek!
Follow the tracks of ten woodland animals but . . . uh-oh . . . watch out for the skunk! Children learn the ways of forest animals to the rhythm of “Over in the Meadow” as they leap like a squirrel, dunk like a raccoon, and pounce like a fox. They will also count the babies and search for ten hidden forest animals. Cut paper illustrations add to the fun in this delightful introduction to a woodland habitat.
•2012 Izaak Walton League of America Book of the Year Award (Elementary Level)
•2012 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award (Picture/Storybooks)
•2012 Mom’s Choice Gold Award (Children’s Picture Book Category)
•2012 Purple Dragon Book Award – 1st Place (Children’s Picture Book – Ages 5-)
•2012 IBPPG Next Generation Indie Book Award – Finalist (Children’s Picture Book Category)
2012 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA)
2012 Florida Publishers Gold Award in Children's Literature
Kirkus Reviews, January 2012
“Having already explored the ocean and jungle, planets, the Arctic and Australia, Berkes this time focuses her “Over in the Meadow”–derived lyrics on a temperate deciduous forest.
Readers are treated to a look at a forest habitat and its more familiar denizens, including beaver, turkey, woodpecker and ’possum. As in her previous titles, there is a nice balance between math and the animal information. Berkes introduces children to the names given to baby forest animals, indicating them with italics—fawns, joeys, hatchlings, poults, chicks and kits. The number is set in a different color type, while the numeral is featured prominently at the bottom of the page. Dubin gives readers several opportunities to practice, illustrating both the baby animals and their tracks, both of which can be easily identified and counted. In addition, she hides another forest dweller on each page. Her paper-collage, colored-pencil and pastel artwork is filled with gorgeous textures that echo the natural world of the forest. Berkes rounds out the text with educational backmatter: a list of the hidden animals and a few facts, a section that reveals her artistic license, some forest facts, detailed paragraphs about each of the featured animals, the music and lyrics, notes from both the author and illustrator, activities to extend the book and resources for more information. . . . none can argue with the educational value, nor the fun—what will she tackle next?”
Booklist (American Library Assn.) (May 2012)
As in Over in Australia (2011) and Over in the Arctic (2008), this picture book reworks the traditional rhyme “Over in the Meadow” to introduce the animals in a habitat, here a temperate forest. The verses flow smoothly, observing 10 animal parents as they instruct their little ones: squirrels learn to leap, skunks to spray, and so on. The attractive collage illustrations offer plenty of opportunities for counting as well as observing woodland animals. The extensive back matter includes tips for using the book, notes on the animals, and music for the song.
School Library Journal (July 2012)
K-Gr 2—This story follows the rhythm and rhyme scheme of "Over in the Meadow" as mothers teach their babies life skills. "Over in the forest/where the clean waters run/Lived a busy mother beaver/and her little kit one./'Build,' said the mother/'I build,' said the one./So they helped build a lodge/where the clean waters run." All 10 babies are called by their names: "fawns," "joeys," "hatchlings," "poults," and "chicks," which is educational (although several young animals are called "kits"). Beautiful cut-paper collages, embellished with pencil, pastels, and ink, are filled with soothing, woodsy colors and many textures. This book would be a great read-aloud, followed with a call-and-response song-the music is provided at the end. Questions about what is fact and what is fictionalized (e.g., the numbers of babies) in the story, information about the animals, and tips and activities from the author and the illustrator are appended. With its many curricular extensions and wonderful springboard to art classes, this book is a terrific addition to most collections.—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Union, Washington & Waldoboro, ME
Children's Literature (July 2012)
Through her adaptations of a popular folk song, author/educator Marianne Berkes has introduced youngsters to creatures of the ocean, jungle, Arctic and Australia. Over in the Forest, the fifth book in the eco-friendly series, brings children into the woodsy world of squirrels, deer, woodpeckers and box turtles. As they sing, little ones can examine Jill Dubin's richly textured cut-paper illustrations for the tracks of the mother animals, count the offspring, and learn about a specific activity for each species. For example, the mother deer and her two fawns graze, the mother skunk and her nine kits spray and—playful gender switch—the father fox and his ten kits pounce. Additional facts about each animal and tips on being a wildlife detective assist parents and educators interested in expanding the adventure for their kids. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum