Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Lost in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick

Winners of too many awards to list, this gorgeous collection by Carl R. Sams & Jean Stoick are an exquisite blending of words and photography.   The stunning photographs taken in the woods of northern Michigan draw attention immediately.  Add whimsical stories and you've got one of those picture books that children will remember for the rest of their lives.

As a born Michigander living in the south, I am especially drawn to the scenery and its inhabitants.  Doe and newborn fawn standing against the green canopy of spring; brilliant cardinal among the bright white backdrop; these are scenes regularly seen "up north" and now brought into the laps of young people.

Lost in the Woods:  A Photographic Fantasy is a tale of a young spotted fawn that is discovered by other woodland dwellers.

“‘Get up!
                       Get up!'
              Get up!
                                       shouted the
                                               red-winged blackbird."

“‘ Shhh...
                                        hushed the mouse.

                                I think he's lost.
                     Just let him sleep." '

We watch as the fawn gets up to stretch is long legs and it greeted by chipmunks, the cardinal, the camouflaged tree frog, and many others who offer advice to the babe.  As we listen, we learn that the baby is born with spots and without a scent in order to escape the attention of predators.  Mother only comes to nurse and care for her fawn. 

I love how the story is told by the animals in the woods.  Each speaks in his and her own style.  The goslings "jabber", the cardinal hollers, and Mother Goose "hisses".  In italics are the thoughts of the fawn as if its instincts are being spoken aloud. 

VBPL holds copies of
Lost in the Woods, as well as First Snow in the Woods and Stranger in the Woods.  Be sure to explore these other books by Carl R. Sams & Jean Stoick as well.

Early childhood professionals recommend that children are exposed to real photographs as they explore not just drawings and cartoons.  This helps young minds learn to recognize real objects and animals in their world.  If you like these photographic picture books you might also want to check out Tana Hoban's Look Book, an interactive book of nature photography where readers can peek through die-cut holes to guess at what is on the next page.                        


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