A lyrical book about the adventure of life, The Forest is also a magnificent visual work, both painterly and a technical feat of paper engineering. Here, sensory experience and the textures of the material world are rendered through die-cuts, embossing, cutouts, and two gatefolds. A beautifully considered work.
Riccardo Bozzi was born in Milan in 1966. He is a journalist for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Violeta Lópiz is an illustrator from the Spanish island of Ibiza. Her beautifully textured work is filled with personality and playfulness.
Valerio Vidali is an Italian illustrator based in Berlin. Vidali enjoys botanical gardens and spends his spare time building kites that rarely fly.
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2018
A Brain Pickings Best Children's Book of 2018
A 2018 CBC Hot Off the Press selection
Selected for exhibition in the 2018 Society of Illustrators Original Art show
Featured in MilK Magazine Korea December 2018
Featured in Green Source DFW December 2018 gift guide
★ "Uncommonly beautiful...the sheer marvel of the design, together with the inclusive, open-ended mystery of what lies beyond the forest, makes this a wondrous piece of bookmaking for all ages. Much like a poem, it will evoke new emotions and layers of meaning with repeated readings."—Publishers Weekly
"Like a fairy-tale walk in the woods, “The Forest” is a thrilling visual excursion into uncharted territory featuring elaborate die-cuts, gatefolds and embossed images created by two artists from Italy and Spain." — Leonard Marcus
"The Forest is one of the richest, most surprising picture books I've ever read. A true work of art in every sense, including as bookmaking. It's a landmark."—Bruce Handy, Author of Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult
"THE FOREST is one of the 2-3 most beautiful & shattering picture books I’ve ever seen.” —Dave Eggers, Best-Selling Author, Editor, Publisher, and Co-Founder of 826 National
"As a book / object / artwork, this is just NUTS. And beautiful."—Simon Armstrong, Book Buyer at Tate Modern
"The vibrant forest and its creatures peeking through the die-cut eyes of the barely visible faces remind us that the human role in nature is not that of conqueror or king but of humble witness and passing visitor." —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"...clever, instantly arousing curiosity... Students of design will appreciate the construction and the lush, vibrant compositions." —Kirkus Reviews
“This is an essentially existential children’s book, which imagines human life itself as an exploration through that famed and sometimes dark forest in which we have often been said to find ourselves. Like pretty much every title published by the small, independent Enchanted Lion books, it is a gorgeous, singular, unimprovable book. The story starts: ‘It is an enormous, ancient forest that has not yet been fully explored.’ Inside, a series of bas-reliefs and cut-outs on plain paper shows us first a baby, then a young child … and on through to an old, wrinkled face that eventually yields, becoming lines in a landscape from which new greenery grows. Between the images of a human aging, we see forests, jungles and fields, with animals and humans making their way, sometimes alone, sometimes in a group.
Somehow ‘The Forest’ is a work of art that escapes feeling like an ‘art object’ — it succeeds in being for children. The ink on its mylar dust jacket makes a distinctively beautiful sound. The eye-holes and occasional unfoldings alter a reader’s sense of space. ‘It is said that the forest has a certain limit if you look straight ahead, but the sides are boundless.’ This book takes on even death: ‘At the end of the climb there is a ravine into which each explorer will eventually fall, despite the precautions taken and the advancements of science.’ This fall didn’t bother my 4-year-old at all. She took interest in the new seedlings, the disappearance of the textured pages, and the return of the pines."—Rivka Galchen, The New York Times Book Review
"For those willing to explore the book with the wonder of a child, each page turn will have you not only going deeper in the forest, but also witnessing the passage of time. Bozzi’s writing captures an openness and a sense of mystery which, when paired with the book’s actual physicality, may have each forest explorer come to see their lives anew, renewed, and renewable."—Lori Horbas, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
"At first, it seems like the prose is merely describing a walk through a forest, but taken together, the words become deeply poignant. Bozzi meaningfully gestures towards love, hate, nostalgia, language, wisdom, death, and rebirth, usually indirectly. It’s a beautiful object, with a stunning, highly tactile layout, and while it’s not quite clear who the ideal audience would be—adults and artistically inclined teenagers might like it, too—those who connect with its enigmatic beauty will be transfixed."—Sarah Hunter, Booklist
“Metaphysical poetry for kids? Little ones might not grasp the deeper meaning, but this gorgeously illustrated book begs to be explored: from the raised texture pages to the holes that demand little eyes look through to spy the next page. For older ones, it opens a wonderful world of questions: who are we, where did we come from, and where are we going?” —EcoParent Magazine
“This book is an undeniable treasure.” —The Reading Ninja
”Richard Bozzi invites readers on an expedition through the visually-captivating, carefully-illustrated and colorful forest created by Violeta Lópiz and Valerio Vidali. Readers will join explorers in uncovering the many wonders of the forest, old and new. Unveil the ecology of an ever-changing forest as you feel your way through the pages. The artistry of the foldouts, cutouts, embossed imagery, and bold illustrations deepen the senses with each page.” —Samantha D’Acunto, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden
- A New York Times Best Illustrated Book