Hunters of the Great Forest

Hunters of the Great Forest

Book - 2014
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A band of tiny hunters goes off on a mysterious but worthwhile expedition, evading predatory birds and animals along the way, in this wordless picture book.
Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2014
ISBN: 9781596438965
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm


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Jan 10, 2018

Read 16 May 2015: I came across this thanks to the 2015 Graphic Novel Challenge.

The book is 11.25×8.75”providing a wide canvas for the author/illustrator. On top of that, every image is a two-page spread; a panorama. This leaves a lot of room for detail, for story development, and, simply put, for storytelling.

There are no words in this book. Not as text and not as text on something. No labels. No brands. No words.

I loved that about this book. It made me truly focus on the images if I wanted to know what the story is; much less, what happened. The images are delightful and whimsical. I think this book would be great for most anyone of any age. This would be a particularly amazing book to spend time with a child who had a fair few words and some concepts regarding “adventuring” and the broader world. Maybe a bright 4-year-old? Five- or 6-year-old maybe? [Sorry, has been 30+ years since mine were that age.] It would be great fun to read this book with a kid like that. One could spend hours at it.

Seven intrepid hunters, each with their own personality and way of dealing with the difficulties encountered, set off. Lots of perseverance and knowing when to run. Working as a team. So much more. Very positive book.

Is that the same person hanging out that tower window on their return as it was on their departure? So many things like that, even in these sometimes austere images.

Don’t miss the epilog or “Easter egg” on the last page/colophon, just like in the Marvel movies. You do sit through the credits for those, right? I don’t know, and doubt it is, an actual teaser but it gives more insight into the story.

Photo of a two-page spread from Nolan's Hunters of the Great Forest

The above panel is perhaps my favorite. Although there is little actually going on it is amazing. Peaceful. Informational. Calm despite the hard work to get there and the long road ahead. It also reminds me of Oregon (and other places) so lets me imagine these fine folks in my neck of the woods, in places I love.

Highly recommended. In case there were doubts.

Jun 04, 2015

SUMMARY: A band of hunters from a village of tiny people are sent out on a mission. They travel far and face one danger after another, including a toad and a bird, before finally reaching their destination and bringing home the prize they sought.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created in ink, watercolor, and pencil. The colors are colorful, but muted giving it the feel that you are in another time and another place. The characters are adorable, but there are no facial expression to help you feel the emotion of each situation (you cannot see mouths on any characters at all).

THE GOOD: The overall story is cute. At the beginning of the story you feel the weight of importance of the journey these hunters are embarking on. They go through much danger and trouble to get the treasure they seek. Then when you see what the treasure is, you have to laugh out loud at the humor of it. The ending is wonderful.
THE NOT AS GOOD: The beginning and ending are wonderful. You see what is happening and feel the energy of it. Not so the middle. The hunters are either walking or running. How do you tell this part of the story to an impatient child? "The hunters are walking past a snail. Now they see a toad." Yawn. I would have liked to see more action from the hunters, especially when they react to the predators.



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