Picture Book Review: Over in the Woodland

Over in the Woodland by Nicole  Abreu
Over in the Woodland: A Mythological Counting Journey
by Nicole Abreu (Author),Shar Abreu (Author), Susanna Covelli (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

This picture book counts up mythical creatures in a magical fairyland as they dance and fly with their parents. Each family of fairies, griffins, centaurs, and trolls grows in size as we count from 1 to 10. The rhyming text is meant to be sung to the tune of “Over in the Meadow”.

Each mystical family is in their own element. The mermaids swim in cool water. The centaurs practice archery in a forest. The dragons fly through the clouds. The dwarves carve rock and stone. The mother or father teaches their children to work together and learn the magic ways of the woodland.

The illustrations are marvelous. The art is warm, rich, and vibrant. There are tiny details in the illustrations that make each scene come alive with magic: little dew drops on a leaf, the sparkle of a waterfall, the strands of hair or fur on the mythic creatures. Each little whisker is alive with energy and movement.

My favorite illustration is of “a bright father phoenix” and his little phoenix child. They are reborn from the ashes and fly up towards the sun with flaming feathers and glowing eyes. The artwork is incredibly beautiful with the rays of the sunshine illuminating the entire scene.

I sang this book to my nieces and they loved it! The text is perfect in every way. The rhymes are good, the rhythm is correct, and the lyrics are clever and fun! It’s easy to sing along.

One of the best things about this book is that there is a griffin hidden in each scene. At the beginning of the story, the mother griffin sends her children out to “guard every home” in the woodland. So the griffins are hiding in the background of each scene, watching over the fairy families, and keeping everyone safe. At the end of the story, the griffins return to their den at nightfall and report back to their mother that the woodland is “all safe.”
I LOVE picture books with hidden things to look for in each page, and I love how the griffins tie the entire story arc together.

I am so in love with this book! This is one of those books that you keep forever and read to your grandkids someday.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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