Hunters of the Great Forest

illus. by Dennis Nolan. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Oct. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781596438965.
RedReviewStarK-Gr 2—In this wordless picture book, insect-sized explorers set off from their village to go on an adventure. Along the way, they must overcome several perils, such as a hungry blue jay and an angry chipmunk. Though teamwork and blind luck, they arrive at their destination, an unguarded bag of marshmallows, and take one back to their village for a feast. Nolan's illustrations are wonderfully detailed and textured, from the jagged roots and tree bark the group climbs to the wings of the dragonfly that soars overhead. His work with shadows is exceptionally impressive; as the characters run for their lives, the hunters' oblong shadows accentuate their various actions. However, very young readers may be frightened by the team's antics, as the backyard animals that chase the travelers come across as monsterlike. Overall, this is a good adventure story that's silly and original. Fans of David Wiesner's imaginative works may want to give it a try.—Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI
A group of diminutive hunters travels into a forest, discovering new things and escaping dangers along the way. Their journey ends with a sweet discovery that they share with everyone back home. Reminiscent of William Joyce's style, Nolan's wordless picture book--presented in vibrant pen-and-ink and watercolor spreads--contains plenty of visual beauty, humor, and suspense to enchant readers.

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