Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Tin Forest by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson

On Friday, my good friend, Michelle and I went book shopping. We went down to Utah County and hit several thrift shops to look for books. One of my favorite finds of the day was The Tin Forest published in 2001. The book is beautifully constructed with silver end papers and good thick pages in this hardback edition. I paid $1 for this book that normally sells for $15.99. Good books can be found at thrift shops and yard sales for low prices if you need a low cost way to build a home library.

The Tin Forest was written by Helen Ward and beautifully illustrated by Wayne Anderson. I'll be honest right now and say that I bought this book because it was so beautiful, luckily, the story is also beautiful.

The story begins:
"There was once a wide, windswept place, near nowhere and close to forgotten, that was filled with all the things that no one wanted.

Right in the middle was a small house, with small windows, that looked out on other people's garbage and bad weather."

The man lives in the middle of a junk yard, and he tries to clean it up. He sorts, buries, and burns the garbage, but he longs to live in a tropical forest. One day he sees an old lamp that reminds him of a flower, so he begins to build a forest from the garbage. He even builds animals.

A bird comes to visit one day, but leaves, and the man, so lonely, makes a wish. The bird comes back with a mate and seeds, and a real forest begins to grow in the tin forest.

This book is magical. As an educator, this would be a fun book to use in a classroom. This story could kick off projects to save the environment. Imagine building a bulletin board creating art from garbage. You could do a pen pal activity with students from a far off place. You could encourage students to find the ones that have been nearly forgotten and to make a friend. You could learn about a tropical forest. You could learn about a junk yard and how the garbage is processed.

If you've used this book in your classroom, what did you do?

Is there a storybook that you find magical?


  1. this book sounds wonderful, and you got a great deal on it!!

  2. A bargain to be said for sure but ITA that artwork is wonderful! Beautifully illustrated. I can see why you snatched it up.

  3. I adore this book and use it every year in my program when classes are studying sustainability. The illustrations are wonderful and the every word reads like a beautiful poem.