Beware the Deep Dark Forest


Sue Whiting (text), and Annie White (illustrator), Beware the Deep Dark Forest,  Walker Books Australia, October 2018, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781742032344

Slowly, more and more children’s books feature strong, daring women and girls. Beware the Deep Dark Forest is one of these — a story about young Rosie who is courageous enough to enter the deep dark forest to rescue her pup Tinky. On the way Rosie encounters venomous snakes, a wolf and a monstrous troll. Rosie does not shy away from these obstacles but continues on with her mission.

My daughter found this book a bit scary, which is probably a good sign; books are an excellent way for children to explore a range of emotions in a safe way. It is a creative, fairytale-like adventure story with simple text that makes use of a variety of wonderful verbs, adjectives and alliteration, for example: “she swung across the dizzily deep ravine.”

The colourful, full-page illustrations depict a curious and brave young girl facing fearsome beasts and tricky situations to become a hero. The pictures also feel very fairytale-like, with the forest, thorns and menacing creatures providing a backdrop for bright, adventurous Rosie.

Beware the Deep Dark Forest would suit children from 3-6 years of age.





Bec Blakeney


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