Synopsis: When two young brothers, Archibald and Jockabeb, find and old leather map hidden in the forest just beyond their backyard, they can’t help but sneak out one night to follow its path. So begins the first of the boys’ amazing adventures. After a terrifying encounter with supernatural creatures, the boys meet a young Indian brave, Haktu, who shares with them the tragic story of how he was separated from his tribe and placed under an evil spell. The saga leads the two boys into Haktu’s secret world behind the forest mist, the power of the blue feather, and teaches them the importance of friendship and loyalty in the face of untold evil.
In the Forest is a tale that may inspire the imaginations of school age children from about 5-10 years of age. I say that because it is is a narrator style story that older children may find boring. Archibald and Jockabeb are not just brothers but the best of friends. Archibald is the more adventurous than Jockabeb and undoubtedly the reason for their first adventure. Their little sister Tess is very much like Archibald and like all younger siblings doesn’t want to be left out of the fun.
It is about 4 chapters long if you count the preface so it is just the right length for a child to stay interested. The story pace did move pretty quickly with the story being told about almost a year’s time. The illustrations are nicely done and add a good visual component to be able to see Haktu, the evil crows and the brave pony Uno. The characters are likable with real flaws. The brothers are good kids and do experience guilt for lying to their parents. I appreciated that the kids knew when they did wrong and apologized. Overall, nice read for children who love magic and fantasy.