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?