And the fabulous forest.
by Oren Lavie
illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch
age range: 5 to 10 years old
Black Sheep/ Akashic Books
What a fantastic read! It all starts with a medium size Itch that scratches itself against a tree, and the more it scratches the more it grows, and it is covered with fur until it looks like a bear. A bear who wasn't there, but now it is. The bear was all alone and wondered if he was the first or the last one, he wanted to know if he was he. And so starts Bear's journey to discover if he is he, Some other characters will join the adventure, like Convenience Cow and Lazy Lizard, and of course Penultimate Penguin and Taxi Turtle.
The story is deep and philosophical in a disguised way. Bear looks to answer questions like who we are, how we recognize ourselves, and how happy we are with who we truly are. The dialogues, as funny as absurd, reminded me of my beloved Alice in Wonderland. Erlbruch is a talented artist, and this is so far my favorite work by him. When I knew this ARC was coming my way, for some reason I thought it was an e-copy, hence my surprise when I received this beautiful high quality hard copy, full of amazing illustrations. 5 stars.
I received this book from the publisher via LibraryThing in exchange of an honest review.