Over in the Woodland (A Mythological Counting Journey)
Author: Nicole & Shar Abreu
Illustrator: Susanna Covelli
Ages: 3 to 8 years old (P to 3)
Not only is this book a feast for the eyes, it is a literary treasure chest of rich vocabulary that can only serve to broaden a child’s experience and knowledge.
When you think of a counting book, it usually brings to mind sets of cookies, buttons, fruits, or any number of other typical objects kids are familiar with. The format of most counting books is typically very predictable. You turn each page and find a number with a group of objects that corresponds. This book is anything but typical. In fact, it is indeed mythical and completely breathtaking.
The story begins with a group of griffins whose mother tasks them with guarding the woodland meadow where they live. From the very first page, the Abreu sisters grab our attention and do not let go. We encounter mythical mothers and fathers with their children on page after page of beautifully illustrated pictures.
Covelli uses dark, rich colors to depict the woodland creatures, and capture our imagination with illustrations worthy of art gallery pieces. The rhythmic writing leads readers on a fantastical adventure that is perfectly paired with the stunning illustrations. Throughout the journey, we encounter phoenixes, unicorns, cyclopses, mermaids. dwarves, dragons, fairies, trolls, centaurs, and the griffins that begin this tale.
Lest we forget that this is in fact a counting book, each mythical family has a specific number of children, numbering one through nine. To add further literary value to this book, each parent tasks their children with carrying out what is expected of them in the woodland. And so the children must, guard, rise, prance, forge, swim, carve, fly, dance, climb, aim, and finally be safe.
Not only is this book a feast for the eyes, it is a literary treasure chest of rich vocabulary that can only serve to broaden a child’s experience and knowledge. For use in a classroom, it is so much more than a counting journey. It is a mythological adventure filled with a varied and abundant vocabulary that can be used for a multitude of lesson opportunities. As a book for parents to share, it is sure to provide endless opportunities for conversation and fun.
Written for children ages 3-8, this is the kind of book that can easily be read to younger children as well as enjoyed by older children. As an additional gem, in an already precious work of art, readers who look closely will find a griffin hidden in each illustration. This is the kind of book your children will want to read over and over again, and chances are you will enjoy it as much as they do.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
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My thanks to Familius for the advance copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.