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This issue’s cover illustration is from John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury’s There’s Going to be a Baby. This book, as well as an exhibition of John Burningham’s work, is discussed by Julia Eccleshare. Thanks to Walker Books for their help with this November cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 185 November 2010
Forest Born is the latest title in ‘The Books of Bayern’ series. In one of the previous books, The Goose Girl, Isi realised that she had special powers and was the true love of the king of the land of Bayern. Three books later, Shannon Hale brings another young girl from the forest to the city, to discover who she is as she grows into womanhood, and what her strange affinity with trees is about.
Isi, now queen of Bayern, engages Rin to look after her small son. It becomes clear that a rivalrous traitor is among them and the two women, with Isi’s ‘fire sisters’, Enna and Dasha, set off to help their defeated menfolk in their quest to defend Bayern. A great adventure ensues; Rin’s knowledge of the forest and of the language of trees helps to bring them all safely home while her growing self-knowledge allows her to return to the close-knit family she has left in the forest.
Pacy, engaging and very readable, with well-chosen language, this further volume will be enjoyed by those who have immersed themselves in the world of Bayern. The characters are well-drawn and the warmth and strength of a community working together in pursuit of a worthy aim are well-depicted, the maturity of the fire sisters evident as respectful role-models for the younger Rin.