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Where the Forest Meets the Sea
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Where the Forest Meets the Sea

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,496 ratings  ·  94 reviews
“My father says there has been a forest here for over a hundred million years,” Jeannie Baker's young protagonist tells us, and we follow him on a visit to this tropical rain forest in North Queensland, Australia.

We walk with him among the ancient trees as he pretends it is a time long ago, when extinct and rare animals lived in the forest and aboriginal children played th
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1988 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 1987)
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Deborah Any age, really. Babies, pre-schoolers, early readers, middle grade, teens (who might think picture books are for babies, but the dioramas are fascina…moreAny age, really. Babies, pre-schoolers, early readers, middle grade, teens (who might think picture books are for babies, but the dioramas are fascinating works of art), and adults. The illustrations are beautiful, the concepts are intriguing, and the environmental information is gently presented through a seemingly simple story of a father and child visiting the beach and the rainforest. (less)

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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  1,496 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: children who enjoy detailed illustrations, especially about the environment, nature, trees
Now while I have generally rather enjoyed (and most definitely appreciated) this book, and have on an entirely aesthetic level absolutely cherished the detailed and intricate collage like illustrations, in my opinion, Jeannie Baker's Where the Forest Meets the Sea would probably if not even actually work much better as a wordless offering, namely because Baker's accompanying illustrations are just so much more detailed and intricate than the rather sparse and in my opinion quite majorly unimagin ...more
Lisa Vegan
This is the fourth book by this author illustrator I’ve read. The collage illustrations are unbelievably superb, just wonderful. As with her other fiction picture books, she includes an author’s note at the end where she shares a bit about the environmental peril we’re in, in this case the wet tropical rain forest wilderness and Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I love what Baker is doing regarding using her considerable artistic talent to try to make a difference in environmental preservation. T ...more
Impressive illustrations that are intricate and interesting. Jeannie Baker's collage techniques are distinctive and always a pleasure to look through. Although I have enjoyed several of this author's wordless picture books I didn't enjoy this one so much, the text didn't live up to the illustrations and I think this might have been better without the text.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was so hard to get a hold of in my school library and once you did all the pages were crinkled & smeared with grubby primary school kids fingerprints and drool.

I myself would borrow this book as often as I could and just stare at the pictures....I so wished it had texture because I really wanted to touch it too....which I refrained from because of the drool.

I forgot all about this book, but I am getting my own copy so that I may spend hours staring opened mouth, drooling and running my
Sep 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to draw a child into the reading experience
Recommended to booklady by: Mamie
The three dimensional-like pictures in this book are especially appealing to visional learners of all ages. Baker also makes use of fading to show imaginary figures which the bright children I was reading to picked up on right away. There is little text but that only further enhances the book: what needs to be said is and the rest is left to the adult and child to talk about as much or as little as they please. My audience of three (ages 8-3) were very involved in this book. They liked to talk a ...more
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book! Baker's collage art is amazing. I really enjoyed how the little boy thinks back to all the things that the tropical forest (in North Queensland, Australia) has seen over the years, like dinosaurs roaming and aboriginal children playing in the huge trees. And I certainly appreciate the message of wanting to preserve the forest because it becomes but a distant memory itself. I'm just not sure I felt as moved as I ought to have been, given all of this. Still, it's definite ...more
Sharah McConville
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much as a child! I found it at our local library recently and decided to borrow it out to show my kids. When it was scanned the librarian told me that my copy had been cancelled and I could keep the book!
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it

This book literally gave me goose pimples! It may not be for everyone but as I love Australia and anything to do with the environment this was the whole package. Everything from the collage illustrations to the imaginative elements of long lost dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts, it simply captivated me. The story is very simple but because of this it really makes the book unique. There is no dramatic or intricate storyline so can be used for a wide array of curriculum subjects. The book like all
Michael Fitzgerald
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Impressive pictures, but deadly boring text. It reads like a book report by a third grader.
Emma Southam
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would use this book with a KS2 class and discuss what the book is trying to tell us about the developing world. Asking the children how they feel about this, but also why sometimes, sadly, this is necessary. I think it is a great learning tool.
Charlotte Rowden
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book with beautiful and intricate images to accompany the text. In a classroom setting, this could be the basis for discussions about climate change and the natural world (including looking up the forest where the book is based to see what it is like now) or as an art activity (collecting things from outside and creating pictures with them).
Elizabeth Jamieson
A fantastic book depicting the issues of colonisation and industrial building in forests in Australia from an aboriginal’s point of view
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
This is a beautiful book which I’d highly recommend. It is told in the first person by a young boy who goes out exploring with his father in the rainforest. The story is based in the Daintree rainforest area in North Queensland, Australia. The father takes his son out on a boat and while the father sits on the beach the boy goes walking through the rainforest. There is not very much text in this book (1 or 2 sentences per page) but it is an extremely visual and engaging book. To simply read this ...more
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this story, Jeannie Baker shows us how things change, but through the eyes of a Australian young boy. This story is based in North Queensland, Australia and we walk through a lovely, tropical rainforest with this young boy and his father- as he pretends to walk through time, past, present and future. We go from seeing extinct and pre-historic animals, to seeing the furture vast developments of green-land becoming industrialised. As we look into the future aprehenisions for the forest, we (alo ...more
Salma Khatun
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book is about a young Australian boy, who's father takes him to a Rain forest by boat. The young boy explores the rain forest and pretends it is a long time ago when extinct animals lived. As he travels through the rain forest, he finds 'ghostly' images, including a dinosaur, a young aboriginal child and a holiday resort build by the sea. When the young boys exploration comes to an end, he leaves the forest wondering if he would ever return to its preserved condition.

I enjoyed reading this
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a story of a young boy and his father visiting a rain forest in Australia. They travel in their boat the “Time Machine” The boat lives up to its name, as when they arrive at the prehistoric rain forest, ancient animals appear to the reader in the illustrations in faint outlines. The boy sets off to explore, pretending he is travelling back in time. We see things through his eyes as the old forest reveals its past. When the boy returns to his father on the beach, a vision of the future ap ...more
Mar 23, 2014 added it
This is a great book to use for guided reading partly because of the beautiful illustrations in the book opens up great discussions. This is a story about a boy and his father who go on a visit to an Island. The illustrator captured beautiful real life like images. Although there aren't many sentences in the book, it nevertheless is suitable for children up to key stage 2 on the basis that the intricate pictures can get children to talk about it. For example, why don't many people go to the Isla ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This visually stunning book is set in the Australian outback. A boy goes on a boat trip with his father to a remote reef, where he wanders through the unspoilt rainforest, imagining the animals and people who have lived there. As they leave, the boy wonders if he will ever be able to return, as the reef is under threat from potential developers.

The pictures are beautiful, and are photographs of reliefs rather than being illustrations. The reliefs show the faint outline of the boy’s imagined dino
Sophie Mc
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
'Where the Forest Meets the Sea' by Jeannie Baker is a picture book at its' very best. The book uses beautiful illustrations to delicately highlight the important of nature. Through the use of ghostly images, the reader is sent on a mission to find the previous creatures that once lived in the habitat, highlighting how human activity has changed the landscape. This book is a fantastic resource for the teaching of habitats in both Geography and Science. Due to the nature of the book with its' fan ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Gorgeous collage illustrations highlight this cautionary tale about a tropical rain forest in North Queensland, Australia. The story features a little boy with a wild imagination who explores the pristine forest as his father fishes. It's a fun story to read aloud and we enjoyed reading it together and pointing at all the interesting details we saw in the picture.

This book was featured as one of the selections for the September 2015: Rainforests discussion for the Picture-Book Club in the Child
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbf-general
This is a beautiful book, with a young boy exploring and communing with the Daintree Rainforest in North Queensland, Australia. Baker's relief collages are painstakingly detailed, down to the hair on the father's chest, legs, and arms. She used a variety of materials in her collages, including modeling clay, papers, textured materials, preserved natural materials (like leaves), and paints. Although not a "Where's Waldo" type book, one can find various things "hiding" in the pictures: a snake her ...more
Feb 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully made, almost remarkable at the detail of her artwork. Makes me wonder HOW she made these pictures! Makes me also want to visit Austrailia and see the beauty of nature myself!
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book followed a boy and his father from home to an island where they fish and spend time together. Whilst there the boy goes exploring by himself and finds many things. The end of the story is the thing that really got me thinking about the planet and what we are doing to it. With more and more forests destroyed for housing and hospitality will these beautiful places be there to see another day? The boy is left feeling unsure of whether he will be able to experience all those wonderful thin ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Where the Forest Meets the Sea is a short picture book about a young boy who likes to visit the forest with his father. Him and his father go there all the time and his father tells him that the forest has been there for over a million years. The boy goes into the forest and explores the different trees and sees many different animals while there. He then comes back to the shore and eats a fish that his dad cooked. At the end of the story the boy is sad because he has to leave and his dad tells ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book about the Daintree rainforest in Australia. The book was written in 1987 with unbelievably amazing collage and models that Jeannie Baker constructed. Her art is unique in the history of children's literacy, not even mention that it was written over 30 years ago.

This book states in a gentle way, about the creatures that extinct, and raise the concern for the future of this rain forest. Everything has been weaved seamlessly into the trip of a little boy and his father. I am not fami
Sally Edsall
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jeannie Baker is a collage artist, and has created a beautiful book from a huge array of natural materials. The photographic illustrations of the collages have enormous texture.

An Honour Book in the Australian Children's Picture Book of the Year awards. It conveys a message of the need to care for the natural environment, and warns against the over-development of wilderness areas. Raises important issues in the most exquisite way.

Well-loved by children, and deserving of a place in every school,
Alice Cavender
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
What an amazing book! The pictures are a story in themselves.
The first thing that came to mind would be to use this book in a history lesson to show how things change over time and research how our local area has changed.
Bryony Wells
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A really powerful book, which begins as a story about the beauty of the rainforest with an ending that forces you to reconsider how we treat the world we live in. Beautiful imagery throughout. Simple yet effective.
Lara (luellabella✂️)
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
So many of these classic Australian children's books evoke strong memories from my childhood and this one is definitely no exception. Growing up in FNQ, this book will always make it to my top 5. Beautiful pictures and a lovely story.
Becky Sparkes
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good cross curricular children’s picture book. It can be linked to science, history and geography and is especially good for linking to climate change and the changes in our environment.
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Jeannie Baker is the author-illustrator of a number of children’s picture books, including the critically celebrated Mirror and the award-winning Where the Forest Meets the Sea. Born in England, she now lives in Australia.

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