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A walk in the woods

Cover of A Walk in the Woods
A review of A Walk in the Woods by Nikki Grimes
Jerry Pinkney, and Brian J. Pinkney

How does a child process the loss of a parent or loved one?

A Walk in the Woods explores the sadness and anger that a son experiences after his father’s death. Early in the story, the son opens the envelope his dad left for him. It contains a treasure map. The son had been hoping for something more meaningful and is disappointed by the map, but he reluctantly follows it into the woods -- a place they had always shared together – and to the hidden treasure, which invites him to draw and write his own story, and it reminds him to continue to treasure the forest. His dad knew he needed “this walk in the woods,” as it offers answers and healing.

This poignant picture book is the result of a remarkable collaboration that began with the beautiful words of Nikki Grimes and the captivating tight sketches of Jerry Pinkney, and was completed by the additional soft, warm, swirling illustrations of Brian J. Pinkney, after the death of his father, Jerry, in 2021. At the end of the story, Nikki Grimes and Brian J. Pinkney provide explanations of how A Walk in the Woods came to be, an addition that heightens the impact of this exquisite work. Recommended for children, ages 5-10, and their caregivers.

Feb 2, 2024