Anna and Peter, a mother and son from Sweden, visit the Costa Rican rainforest called El Bosque Eterno de los Ni?os (the BEN) and learn about its unique plants and animals. As they hike to various parts of the forest, Peter is surprised to discover that fundraising that led to the BEN’s establishment began 20 years ago through the efforts of a second-grade class in Sweden. One of the children was his mom. Despite the amount of information conveyed in the narrative and conversations, the story doesn’t seem contrived. Small cartoons of the people appear at the bottom corners of the large, colorful illustrations of various animals and forest landscapes. The central pictures are big enough for group sharing. Older readers can find out more about the individual plants and animals in the paragraphs contained in sidebars. A two-page explanation of the origins of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and photos of the area appear after the main text. Those who want to know more about the BEN’s ecology and origins can find lots of photos and information in Dorothy Hinshaw Patent’s Children Save the Rain Forest (Dutton, 1996). Pratt-Serafini’s book serves as a good introduction to the BEN itself and to children’s conservation efforts.
— School Library Journal – Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University (June 2008)
This book is a child’s introduction to the world of a tropical rain forest. It tells the story of a young boy’s trip to the tropical rain forest in Costa Rica with his mother. She was one of the Swedish children responsible for the restoration and preservation of the “Children’s Eternal Forest” – the BEN or “El Bosque Eterno de los Ninos.”
It vividly describes his exhilarating journey as he explores the unparalleled beauty and biodiversity of the rain forest. Readers will enjoy this picturesque introduction to the exotic and endangered species of the tropical rain forest. On each page of this colorful presentation, scientific names are listed and a concise description of the unique structural adaptations of animals and plants are also given.
Readers will also explore the “cloud forest” above the canopy, produced by the water that drips from the tips of leaves. Throughout the book, an interesting dialogue takes place as plants and animals are described and children’s pictures are displayed with behavior similar to the animals. Distinct animal and plant life found include the Strangler Fig, Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth, Leaf-Cutter Ants, and the Rufus-Eyed Stream Frog, an endemic species in the Costa Rican rain forest.
A brief discussion of reforestation efforts is also included. A pictorial history of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest is included along with references on “How to Learn More About Tropical Rainforests” and numerous websites. Biographical facts and books by one of the authors are also listed. There are numerous opportunities for extended studies such as vocabulary building and research projects. Emphasis is placed on the success of a project to save the rain forest as a result of the cooperation of children, organizations, and countries around the world. Ultimately, this book is an introduction to the role that the rain forest plays in the intricate web of life on Earth and is a plea for continued intervention in order to preserve this natural treasure.
— NSTA Recommends (Nat. Sci. Teacher’s Assoc.)- Jean Worsley (June 2008)
When Peter arrives in Costa Rica, he’s greeted by the biggest butterfly he’s ever seen: a blue morpho, with shiny turquoise wings. It’s just one of a variety of creatures he encounters during his first trip to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, a real tropical preserve in Monteverde that kids in 44 countries, and counting, have raised money to protect. The Forever Forest’s expressive dialogue will enthrall readers, many of whom will identify with Peter’s excitement about spotting animals and plants he’s never seen before. Upon inspecting what appears to be a tangle of moss hanging from a tree, he exclaims, “Hey! The moss has arms!” only to learn that it’s the camouflaged hair of a two-toed sloth. Pratt-Serafini’s playful, vibrant watercolor and mixed-media illustrations capture the essence of each forest denizen Peter spies, including saucer-eyed kinkajous (members of the raccoon family) that feast on bananas against a starry sky. Descriptions of species that accompany each picture will further educate kids about cloudforest biodiversity. An informative epilogue tracks the progress of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest project – proof that to protect something you love, age doesn’t matter.
— Audubon – Julie Leibach (Sept/Oct 2008)
As a home schooling mother of two, I have to admit I like books. I mean REALLY like books. They seem to multiply in our house and I like to think of it as literary decoration. It works for us though; I find both kids sprawled in various rooms throughout the day with a pile of books next to them.
I first stumbled across The Forever Forest while browsing at the library on the never-ending search for books for my six-year-old animal-loving kid. Upon first glance, I thought this was just another book on the animals that live in the rainforest but I knew he’d love it so I checked it out. It turned out to be so much more.
Our favorite books are those that have combine beautiful artwork with interesting text – preferably where we learn a little something we didn’t know before. The Forever Forest did this beautifully. The story line follows a young boy and his mother as they visit Costa Rica and the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (commonly referred to as the BEN). Costa Rica’s rich and varied ecosystem is well depicted here, doing a beautiful job of transporting the readers to this lush rainforest. You can almost hear the Howler Monkey’s call.
The variety of animals and plants that thrive in Costa Rica are interesting and different enough to engage most readers, and each page highlights one or two mixed in with the story. The author has used the sidebars to give further information about each of those species. Every member of our family learned something new from these interesting bits. I really like that this information was presented near the references in the book so the kids had the visual to go along with the facts. Don’t think the learning opportunities end there, the back of the book is filled with the titles of other books to expand the lessons as well as a variety of websites to explore including the coordinates to find the BEN on Google Earth.
The underlying messages of this book are of both of the importance of conservation and one of empowerment. The Children’s Eternal Rainforest (El Bosque Eterno de los Niño’s) is so named because a second grade class in Sweden saved it in 1987. While studying tropical rainforests the children learned about the challenges many forests face, competition for land, poachers, deforestation. They wanted to do something to make a difference, and they did, organizing a series of fund-raisers their goal to earn enough money to buy and protect 25 acres. The word traveled quickly, inspiring other students to get involved. By the end of the first year (with the help of matching funds by the Swedish Government) the students had raised $100,000 and it didn’t stop there. The movement continued to grow and children from over 44 countries became involved.
So often in our culture, children especially feel like their voices and actions don’t matter. This book shows what a big difference a group of children can have not just in their own community, but in the world. We spent quite a bit of time talking about ways that our family could make a difference as a result of this book. It will become my go-to resource when I hear the echoes of “I can’t do it” creeping into the language of my children. I hope this book becomes an anchor book in children’s libraries everywhere. At less then $10 it would make a great gift for children in your life and could be lovingly combined with a donation to a favorite organization. With all the issues facing this and coming generations the engagement of our youth is of vast importance and this book brings that home. Kids really can change the world!
— Clearing Magazine – Emily Baker LeRoux (February 2011)
The concept of conservation is often demonstrated through efforts that begin locally, but children may also be inspired to participate in conservation efforts by reading about an exotic place in Costa Rica called the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. This 54,000-acre reserve is the backdrop to the story of The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure (ages 5 to 11). Well known children’s author Kristin joy Pratt-Serafini collaborated with author and rainforest conservationist Rachel Crandell to highlight the significance of the rainforest ecosystem and to send an effective message that the determined actions of children all over the world can be relevant to even large-scale preservation projects. The story is well crafted, full of information, and beautifully enhanced by illustrations. Readers learn that the rainforest provides the habitat for numerous species that face extinction as their food webs are disrupted and forest area is reduced by logging and other intrusive human activities. Species protection through reforestation is paramount, and by explaining the importance of these unique tropical forest dwellers in their habitat, the authors are promoting environmental awareness at a young age, which Pratt-Serafini states is “the key to preserving our world.”
Large scale conservation efforts, such as protecting an ecosystem as wide as the ocean or as complex as the rainforest, are under way throughout the world. Educational outreach programs for children are excellent ways to emphasize the important work that volunteers do and to develop children’s commitment to protect natural habitats.
— BioScience (October 2008)
The Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica owes its preservation to a group of school children from Sweden and their fundraising efforts to purchase and protect the forest. Word of their project spread and eventually children in 44 countries were contributing to the fund. Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini and Rachel Crandell’s The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure imagines a young boy from Sweden visiting the rain forest with his mother, only to discover that she was one of the members of the original second-grade sponsoring class. Peter’s explorations with his parent are detailed in horizontal text boxes; information about the species they observe is found in vertical panels. From these panels cartoon figures of the mother and her son peer into Pratt-Serafini’s colorful jungle scenes. The fact that children played such a important role in saving this rain forest may inspire others to investigate conservation projects.
— School Library Journal (www.schoollibraryjournal.com) – Grace Oliff (September 22, 2009)
This ‘dual purpose’ picture book not only tells the story of Peter and his mom Anna’s adventures in the Monteverde rainforest in Costa Rica but gives scientific information of all of the flora and fauna that they encounter while visiting there. Based on the authors’ own experiences, we learn about the Children’s Eternal Rainforest project (Bosque Eterno do los Ninos) and what a difference young children can make. As a second grade teacher, Anna gets her students involved in a worldwide effort to save this magnificent place. Pratt-Serafini, coauthor and illustrator, began her work for a school project on the rainforest as a 14-year old girl. Her detailed illustrations can now also be found in several other nature storybooks. The book also provides information on how children can take action to save these spaces.
— Green Teacher (November 2010)
For relevant, entertaining and beautiful environmentally based books for children of all ages, look no further than Dawn Publications. Dawn is dedicated to inspiring a deep understanding and appreciation in children for all life on Earth. . . . It all started with an idea, a few kids, and a bake sale. The idea caught on around the world and “The Children’s Eternal Rainforest” became a reality – a prime rainforest in Costa Rica, saved from chainsaws. That was 20 years ago. Now the book, The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini and Rachel Crandell, presents the story of that forest, how it became “eternal” and some of its many natural treasures.
— Arkansas Science Teacher’s Assn. Newsletter – Liz Fulton (Summer 2008)
It is summer break and Peter and his mother Anna are visiting the Children’s Eternal Forest in Costa Rica. They are going to stay with Anna’s friends, Rachel and Dwight, who have a cabin on the edge of the reserve. As they walk towards the cabin Peter sees all kinds of marvelous plants and animals.
At the cabin that evening Rachel and Dwight tell Peter how a group of Swedish school children raised money to buy the forest land so that it could be kept pristine and protected for ever.
The next day Anna, Peter, and Dwight go for a hike. As he admires all the beautiful trees, animals, and flowers around him Peter asks his mother more questions about the children who bought the forest all those years ago. To his amazement he learns that his mother was one of them. She and her class in their school in Sweden began the process, but then many other classes from countries all over the world joined in to help.
During a night hike which Peter takes with Mark, an English naturalist, Peter learns that there are some species living in the reserve which might be the only ones of their kind left. If the reserve hadn’t been created the species might have disappeared all together.
Children who feel that they are too young to do anything to save the Earth’s natural wonders will find this book very inspiring. They will see that there are things that children can do to make a difference. Children’s actions may be on a small scale but when you add them up, they end up making a big difference after all.
In addition to the main story readers are provided with information about the animals that Peter sees in the forest. A section at the back of the book tells the complete story of the Children’s Eternal Forest. For those readers who want to know more about the sanctuary they can visit the website
— Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Review (April 2008)
One of the greatest gifts of being treasure hunters is finding publishers like Dawn Publications and books like this one. The story is incredibly inspiring, the graphics enthralling, and each page has an added tidbit of learning. Whether your child is interested in science, critters, plants, adventure, or just wonderful illustrations, he or she will love this book. Plus, it teaches that each of us can make a HUGE difference in the world, especially children. We highly recommend this book and all the others from our friends at Dawn.
— Reach and Teach (June 2008)
This book tells the story of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica, which has been preserved through the efforts of children all over the world. Readers join Peter on a hike through the rain forest, where visitors can hear howler monkeys, see algae-covered sloths and discover that strangler figs make great hideouts!
— Learning Magazine (August 2008)
Peter goes on a trip to the “Childrens Eternal Rainforest” in Costa Rica and discovers that his mother had been one of the second graders who helped raise money to preserve the rainforest forever. As we follow Peter on his adventure, we learn about the different plants and animals that inhabit the forest. This is a beautifully illustrated and informational picture book that serves as a great reminder that each and every one of us has an opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Filled with valuable and interesting information about the rainforest and its many creatures, this book is an excellent sample of children’s literature because it teaches children to appreciate nature through an interesting story. As Peter and his mom travel to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, readers are sure to discover new information about the rainforest and the animals that live there. With the storyline and complementing informational boxes on each page, readers can enjoy a narrative while also reading factual information about different creatures and plants in the rainforest. The information contained in this book will teach children about the values of giving back to nature, the thrill of learning about new animals, and the importance of appreciating the wonders of the world.
— Oneota Journal – Decorah Public Library (Fall 2008)
Celebrate Earth Day (and every day) in your store this spring with a few of the many eco-friendly books that are debuting in the coming months. Engage and inspire kids to learn more and to do what they can to help our planet by pairing these titles with science and plant kits, gardening toys and other green activity items.
. . . The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini and Rachel Crandell, follows a boy named Peter on a hike through the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica, where he meets howler monkeys, sloths and exotic plant life along the way. The forest, which was preserved by the inspiring efforts of kids around the world, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
— Playthings.com – Karyn M. Peterson (April 2008)
School is out. That means endless days of playing, swimming and, of course, reading!
Teachers know that the more students read during summer vacation – even if it is only one book (horrors!) – the easier the transition back into the classroom becomes once September rolls around.
Fortunately, there is no dearth of fascinating reading material to hold the interest of young readers of all ages.
Dawn Publications continues in its highly praised tradition of bringing children to a greater understanding and appreciation of all life and the universe with several new offerings.
Kids can learn to save a tropical treasure in The Forever Forest, written by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini (with Rachel Crandell).
This picture book, beautifully illustrated by Ms. Pratt-Serafini, discusses the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica, which will be endlessly preserved, thanks to the efforts of children from all over the world.
— The Westfield Leader – Marylou Moreno (July 10, 2008)
The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure is the informative and inspirational story about young students who started to protect a rain forest in Costa Rica. Soon children from several countries worked together to protect the rain forest. In fact, children from 44 countries donated to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest protecting the various species of plants and animals that live there.
While reading the story about how first and second grade students in Sweden started to raise money to protect some of Costa Rica’s rain forest the reader also gets educated about some of the plants and animals who live there. Throughout the story are interesting sections pertaining to some of the species that live in the rain forest. The reader learns about the Strangler Fig – a tree “that grows from the top down” or Kinkajous – mammals who are pollinators. Mantled Howler Monkeys, who are the loudest land animals, are also included as are Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloths and Baird’s Tapir as well as many other plants and animals.
The end of the entertaining book has a timeline of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure is a good environmental book for children that provides an excellent lesson in how much good a small group of concerned people can do.
— Glenn Parrett – Metroland North Blog (March 2009)
A nice book about the animals and story of The Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica – a rainforest that has been preserved by the efforts of children all over the world. This forest is an excellent, real life example of kids making the world a better place!
— Children of the Earth (childrenoftheearth.org) (April 2008)
Never let anyone tell you that you can’t change the world. For the creatures that call the Children’s Eternal Rainforest HOME, the children who saved that forest made the difference between life and death. I feel so grateful that Rachel Crandell and Kristin Joy Pratt have finally told the story of El Bosque Eterno de los Nino’s testament to the power of children.
— Lynne Cherry, author, The Great Kapok Tree
Just like Alice’s looking glass, The Forever Forest transports to a magical world . . . but in this case a tropical forest. No child should be without it.
— Thomas Lovejoy, tropical biologist and
President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
What an engaging book. Children will love the story and the exposure to the rainforest and it’s inhabitants. It is easy to follow and younger ones will enjoy the beautiful illustrations while having it read to them. There is also plenty to learn in separate commentaries for the more advanced readers and adults. A must for every home with children or visiting grandchildren.
— Richard Fitzer (Barnes & Noble.com customer review) (April 2008)
The Forever Forest is about a rainforest in a place called Costa Rica. We looked it up on a map because I didn’t know where it was. The boy in the book goes with his mom and they see all kinds of different things in the rainforest. They see things like motmots, tent-making bats, and pacas. I didn’t know what a lot of those animals were. There is a part on each page that tells about them.
I liked the kinkajou’s best. They like bananas. That was my favorite picture in the book too. I liked all of the animals they saw in the rainforest. The Forever Forest is a good book to learn about rainforest animals.
— Kids Reader Views – Cayden Aures (age 6.5) (April 2011)
Take a walk through the Bosque Eterno de los Ninos (Children’s Eternal Rainforest), filled with howler monkeys, tent-making bats, two-toed sloths, jaguars, leaf-cutter ants and more. This rainforest in Costa Rica is preserved by the efforts of children worldwide.
— Travelforkids.com – Costa Rica (April 2008)