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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Alone in the Forest
by Gita Wolf and Andrea Anastasio
Age Range: 6-8
One day Musa sets off on his own to collect firewood from the forest because his mother is ill. It is very quiet; suddenly, he hears a deafening noise, a crack and boom that comes out of nowhere through the trees. Musa is overcome with terror and his imagination starts to run riot. What could it have been? He looks for somewhere to hide and crawls inside the hollow of a tree. Musa is unable to move and in the silence that follows all he can hear is the pounding of his heart. He spends the night there terrified he will never find his way home.
Alone in the Forest is a sensitive exploration of the psychology of fear showing how Musa is able to overcome his anxiety and realise that there is nothing to be frightened of after all.
Illustrated by the well-known Gond tribal artist, Bhajju Shyam from the village of Patangath, central India, the paintings are closely associated with the Gond art of his home region. The Gonds were a community who were traditionally forest dwellers and their art derives from the decorative patterns painted on the mud floors and walls of their houses.