Where The Forest Meets The Sea

ISBN: 0744563011
ISBN 13: 9780744563016
By: Jeannie Baker

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311 Australia Australian Childrens Fiction Kids Picture Book Picture Books Realistic Fiction To Read

About this book

A young boy visits a tropical rainforest in Queensland, Australia. My father says there has been a forest here for over a million years, he tells us, and we follow him through the ancient forest as he makes believe it is a time long ago. But how much longer will the forest remain, he wonders?

Reader's Thoughts

Nazia Ahmed

This is the second book I have read by the author Jeannie Baker. The illustrations are simply spectacular. The collage effect used in the pictures really bring the illustations to life. The author draws attention to such an important issue, in such a powerful way, which really leaves the reader quite saddened by the current position of Daintree Rainforest. I believe children will love this book. It delivers a powerful message without bombarding the audience. Less is definitely more in this case-less words and strong images work amazingly well. I feel this book could be used with children aged 4 and onwards. The range of topics that could be discussed with the children using this book are huge, for example, feelings, extinction, environment and so on. The story can work well in a range of subjects, mainly Geography, Science, and discussions in maybe Literacy/PSHE. Fabulous work!

Roshni Hirani

This story is about a boy who travels to an Australian rainforest with his father. They travel together to the rainforest in a “time machine” (their boat). When they arrive the boy goes exploring in the forest and we get a glimpse of what it used to be like in the past. The author has very effectively incorporated images of the past into the illustrations. They are shown as faded images which are presented in an almost three-dimensional way. The book ends with the boy viewing the rainforest as it would look in the future, for example the replacement of nature with a tourist resort. The book would be good to use in geography when looking at environments, allowing children to compare and contrast the past, present and the future. It may also be great to try and recreate the wonderful illustrations in this book, through an art lesson.

Shaun Love

it was ok, it could be better but all round a good book, I like the illustrations!


When a young boy goes on a trip with his father they travel to an almost untouched part of the Australian rain forest. This starts the boy thinking about the history of the animal and plant life surrounding him. He also considers what the future holds for this beautiful environment.The most astonishing feature of this book is certainly the near photo-realistic illustrations. I have seen this book used a number of times in schools during Geography lessons. Children have discussed the contrast between the rain forest and the more urban environments they are more familiar with. I have also seen children debate whether or not they think the island in this book should be developed as alluded to in the story. Suitable for children aged 6-10 years old.


Classroom applications-picture bookteach strategies for prior knowledge, inference, connections, writing prompt2 copies available

Salma Khatun

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 book as it was beautifully illustrated and there were hidden images which were exciting to find. There book also contains a deeper message about environment, deforestation and what impact of civilization. The appropriate age range for this book would be from year one to year seven. It can be used to explore the topic of rain forest. For example, a year one class can use this book for their art lesson's as the book contains detailed images of the rain forest. Upper key stage two and lower key stage three can use this book for geography as the book allows discussion of the environment and the impact of civilization on certain environments.

Fiona Prunty

Book ReviewTitle of Book: Where the Forest Meets the SeaAuthor and illustrator: Jeannie BakerThis story is told through the eyes of a young Australian boy who goes on a trip to an island in North Queensland with his father one day. The boat’s name, “Time Machine” gives the reader a hint of what is to come. The boy wanders off through a tropical rainforest and his imagination takes him through time, past and future. He pretends it is “a hundred million years ago” and we see shadows of extinct pre-historic animals. He imagines aboriginal forest children playing in the tangled roots of ancient trees. Following their meal of fish cooked on the open fire, the boy is sad because the day has passed so quickly. His father says that they will return but the book finishes with images of future industrialised modern developments where the forests once thrived and the boy’s question: “But will the forest still be here when we come back?”What really appeals to me about this book are the illustrations which are collages constructed from different materials including modelling clay, papers, natural materials and paints. The illustrator, Jeannie Baker, made two trips to the Daintree forest to research and collect the materials. Each time I read the book, I find new images and shadows hidden in the rich, textured illustrations and I feel the urge to reach out and touch them.I think children of all ages would also love seeking the hidden images in the book. The 3D like illustrations and collage would engage young readers in KS1 and they could be used as a stimulus for Art. The contrasting light and dark images would also provide a stimulus for language development and creative writing. The real world and the imaginary world are very cleverly intertwined in the book and this would be a relevant topic to explore in English. The book would also be an excellent resource for KS2 topics in Geography such as the destruction and preservation of our natural resources.


I first lost myself in this amazing book has a child. 25 years on I still love it! I have used it with several of my classes to explore the artistic nature of the book, imagination and the environmental message. When ever I am lucky enough to be swimming in water near rainforest I always think of this book and recommend it to those that I am with. Thank you Jeannie for creating a wonderful book!

S.N. Arly

This has the kind of conservation message that really hits home without being over the top preachy. The artwork is mixed media constructed from natural materials from the Australian rain forest. This is a frequently requested book, the five-year old and two-year-old will both ask for it by name.


Beautiful book! I love reading it with my 4 year old. My sweet son got teary eyed at the idea of people cutting down the 100 million year old forest. That really warms my heart.The "ghostly images" (another reviewer's terminology) are very effective for getting her point across. The picture at the end of the book showing the 100 million year old rain forest and coastline with the ghostly image of the hotel superimposed over it sticks in my mind. I always think of that when I think of this book.

Sophie Mc

'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' fantastic images, it can be used across a wide range of ages. The book itself provokes questioning; what impact have humans had on our planet? How can we preserve our environment? etc. The book also lends itself nicely to aiding those children with EAL and SEN as the images are extremely clear and bold. This book is very thought provoking and detailed and really impacts the reader; a fantastic resource!


What a wonderful and thoughtful book! This story about a child and his grandfather having a great time exploring the rainforest and admiring its beauty and history will make a huge impact to all readers. Although it talks about a specific rainforest in Northern Australia, the story speaks to a universal reader, sharing the love for conservation of the rainforest of the world and traditional ways of living. I recommend it for everyone! and it can perfectly be used for an outdoors class, conservation studies, natural history, etc. With the hidden images in the rainforest, every child will have a blast!

Roxanne Lund

Love the texture in the collage pictures. Great message of caring for our environment.


This book by Jeannie Baker is a stunning picture book which uses vibrant photos/illustrations of the Australian rainforest. The book can be creatively used to discuss various themes, such as conservation and evolution. The images, minimal text and the map in the book does well to describe the location with clues from the past and present and also raises questions about the rainforest in the future. This book cannot be seen simply as a geograhical book. The possibilities for the usefulness of this book in KS1 and KS2 are various in art, citizenship, debating, persuasive writing, for instance. I would definitely have this book in a KS2 classroom and it would have to be the large edition for full effect.


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!

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