Daintry Jensen’s The Hidden Forest is a gem of a summer (or anytime, really) read. This whimsical book presents a spirited heroine in Adelaide. She is an adventurer, a wanderer, a girl with big dreams. We find her resigned to a boring summer in Nantucket only to discover a world waiting for her beyond anything she and her little brother could have imagined. There is also much more to her seemingly sleepy grandparents than you would expect. This book shares lovely little nuggets of truth like this:
“Good heavens, you’re not going to give up so easily, are you? I must tell you that I know you can. Most humans would stop where you are because things looked impassable. They wouldn’t even try. But you see, if you believe you can do it, then you can. It’s all just an illusion. That’s what stops people ninety-nine times out of a hundred from going ahead with something. Because it seems impossible, so they think they can’t continue. It’s all in the mind, my dear. The ongoing battle, all up here.”
The animal characters are particularly charming in their speech, humor and demeanor. My girls delighted in their descriptions. This book is not only a loving tribute to Nantucket (which is now on my must visit list) but to creativity, big imagination, and finding adventure right where you are.
Just like Adelaide says:
“Adelaide looked around at all the animals laughing and having a great time with the twinkling fireflies above and the full moon glowing down upon them, and she smiled. She realized that for a few moments she had completely forgotten about wanting to be grown-up. She was perfectly happy being who she was and where she was.”
The illustrations are dreamy and add a rich dimension to this imaginative read. I hope you enjoy visiting The Hidden Forest as much as my daughters (8 and 10 years old) and I did.