Written by Helen Ward and illustrated by Wayne Anderson, The Tin Forest is a beautiful story. An elderly man lives in a small house on property surrounded by garbage. The man is depressed by the lack of life around him. “Every day he tried to clear away the garbage, sifting and sorting, burning and burying. And every night the old man dreamed.” He dreams of nature at night, and in the day begins to build flowers, bird, etc. from the metal scraps. Two birds visit his creation and drop real seeds. Soon nature returns to and makes its home in The Tin Forest. The book ends with, “There was once a forest, near nowhere and close to forgotten, that was filled with all the things that everyone wanted.”
The Tin Forest is rated for ages 6-10, but I include it in my preschool curriculum with children as young as two, who are fascinated by the man’s creations. There are many extension activities you can do with older children, such as sculpture using recycled materials. The Tin Forest was also featured on Reading Rainbow.
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