Elizabeth Munk’s Forest Edge Adventure

Little Elizabeth Munk is excited to accompany her brothers on their gathering trip to Forest Edge to stock the pantry for winter. Tom, John and Ben are familiar with gleaning food from the forest floor, but this is Elizabeth’s first venture, so she chases a huge acorn still hanging from a branch, then peers down to watch her brothers foraging on the ground. She doesn’t understand why they’re not up in the trees, viewing the glory of the forest.

After plucking the nut, Elizabeth gathers other lovely items and is pleased with her finds. She even enjoys the rain that starts just as they return to their burrow. When the children produce their bounty, the boys deliver berries, nuts, and seeds, but Elizabeth produces different items: “one perfect acorn, one green swirly marble, a bent piece of tin, one shiny red glass bead, a blue feather with stripes, a strand of yellow thread, three purple asters, and a very long and interesting twig.”

Although the boys laugh at their little sister’s haul, Ms. Munk helps them see the value not only of stocking the pantry, but of viewing their familiar surroundings through Elizabeth’s fresh eyes. Just like appreciating the vista from the tree or delighting in the first touch of raindrops, each Munk acknowledges that the beauty around them is just as important as stowing away provisions for the winter.

Faye McFarland’s well-written tale is accompanied by lovely illustrations by Wesley Lowe, and the combination perfectly expresses how important it is to see the world through other lenses. Elizabeth Munk’s Forest Edge Adventure is destined to become a picture book classic of nature exploration.

Includes a glossary and a brief description of Least Chipmunks, to which the Munk family belongs .

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