EMWF Kids' Reads

On the Other Side of the Forest
Written by Nadine Robert and illustrated by Gérard DuBois
Published by Greystone Books

A book review by Cassia (8) and Ella (6)

Welcome Cassia and Ella! Can you tell us about this book?

Cassia: The book is about a village of rabbits that live on one side of the forest. The forest is too dark and dense for them to go through, so one of them wants to build a tower to see to the other side. He and his son start trading loaves of bread for stones to build the tower. But when there is a storm, the tower is destroyed. At the end of the storm, the villagers bring more stones and help to build the tower.

Ella: The dad had a magnificent idea, so they built a tower to see the other side of the forest. The dad made a lot of breads to sell for getting rocks. Their tower was destroyed halfway, but their neighbours helped them to rebuild it.

What do you like about this book?

Cassia: I like it because it’s fiction and it’s about bunnies instead of people. Also, the story is told by Arthur and not by a narrator, so we get to know his point of view. I like Arthur’s dad: he’s hardworking, brave, and curious. And what’s in the forest stays a mystery, so we get to imagine whether or not there really are wolves, ogres, and giant badgers.

Ella: I like it when they see the other side of the forest because they were able to figure out there is another tower there. Reindeer family had the same idea as them.

What was your favourite part of the story?

Cassia: My first is when Arthur cleans the oven and gets all covered in soot. My second favourite part is when they see what is on the other side of the forest.

Ella: I like the moose's castle because it looked small and easy to climb.

What do you like about the illustrations?

Cassia: I like that the animals are very realistic, and I also like that there are lots of textures on things like the rocks and the rabbits’ fur. I like how all the trees are blended together and dark. My favourite picture is the one when Arthur cleaned the oven and his head is covered in soot.

Ella: I like the celebration page the most because it's very colourful and everyone looks happy.

Why should kids read this book?

Cassia: It’s inspiring because it tells you that even if something goes wrong, that doesn’t mean you have to stop. When the storm came, the strong winds blew down some of the rocks, and all the villagers came and started rebuilding the tower. They knew that Arthur and his dad needed help, and they also probably wanted to see to the other side of the forest. The bunnies were collaborative and they all helped each other.

Ella: Because people always have to be curious about something unknown. If they don't question, they'll never learn.

If you could ask the author or illustrator a question, what would it be?

Cassia: Why did you decide to use bunnies as the characters instead of other animals, like dogs, cats, or hamsters?

Ella: For the author: Why do you make a story like that? For the illustrator: How many books have you drawn and what are they?

Thank you Cassia and Ella!