The Lost Forest

illus. by Betsy Bowen. 40p. University of Minnesota Pr. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780816697960.
Gr 2–4-Root and Bowen recount how a surveying error that took place in Minnesota in 1882, resulted in 114 acres of undeveloped forest that would become known as "The Lost Forty." The design of the book is tall and narrow, consistently placing short rows of text on the left-handed page, allowing the textured illustrations on the right to showcase the height of the old growth forests with dark, saturated colors. The text briefly mentions that the land being sold to lumber companies by the government had been taken from Native people and goes on to detail the work of the survey crew as well as the wildlife and flora that were able to thrive as lumber companies overlooked the expanse of pine that had been incorrectly mapped as part of a lake. The painterly illustrations capture both the dark and expansive nature of the forest as well as whimsical details depicting songbirds and botanical illustrations. The back matter includes photos of the surveying crew, a list of flora and fauna species found in old growth forests, maps, definitions, and extension activities for children.
VERDICT A story of local interest that may supplement collections on naturalism and National Forests.-Kelly Topita, Anne Arundel County Public Library, MD

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