"The ForestGirls: At the Edge of Land and Sea is a work of children's fiction in the natural world, educational, and adventure subgenres. It is intended for accompanied and newly independent readers and was penned by author Sissel Waage with illustrations provided by artist Ana-Maria Cosma. This beautifully illustrated picture book takes young readers on a captivating journey to coastal regions around the world. As the story unfolds, readers are immersed in the wonders of marshlands, mangroves, seagrasses, and kelp forests. Through the eyes of these coastal girls, we witness their exploration of the natural world and their efforts to protect it. The book is an inspiring reminder of the importance of preserving our aquatic environments.
Author Sissel Waage has crafted a captivating narrative and concept as young readers are introduced to the girls who live by the sea and have a deep love for the ocean and its intricate ecosystems. I was also highly impressed by the way the action is brought to life through Ana-Maria Cosma's stunning artwork, which made me genuinely excited and inspired to get back out into nature and see what’s waiting to be discovered. The poetic narrative and rich, vivid illustrations make this book an engaging read that I could see becoming a firm favorite at home, as a holiday read while kids are actually out in the natural world, but also in classrooms as a springboard for further eco-related topics. It not only educates young readers about the beauty and significance of our oceans but also instills a sense of wonder and appreciation for the environment and that we need to move toward a better, greener future. Overall, The ForestGirls, at the Edge of Land and Sea is a delightful and enlightening book that encourages environmental awareness and empathy for the planet, and I would not hesitate to recommend it."
- Reader's Favorite Reviewer K.C. Finn
"The ForestGirls: At the Edge of Land and Sea is a children's picture book by Sissel Waage with some beautiful artwork by Ana-Maria Cosma. Two girls bond over their mutual love of places at the edge of land and sea. Both girls love the mangroves and their different varieties from all over the world, like the jekanazo mangrove trees of Bangladesh or the red mangroves from Brazil. They have an affinity for the sturdy grasses of tidal marshlands too, such as the cordgrass in Cape Lod, USA, the janakas in Egypt, or the saltgrass of Mexico. The girls also have a special place in their hearts for the underwater kelp forests from the seas around Japan, South Africa, and Chile. Now, it is their chance to help these natural wonders flourish and make the world a more vibrant place to live in.
Award-winning author and environmental scientist Sissel Waage teams up with award-winning artist Ana-Maria Cosma to craft a fascinating tale of two little girls and their adventures in attempting to save the coastal ecosystems. The ForestGirls: At the Edge of Land and Sea is a highly relevant book for our times, with a powerful message aimed at those readers who will be most affected by the impact of climate change and environmental collapse as they grow older. It is nevertheless a fun adventure story that teaches readers about the abundant beauty and irreplaceable nature of our coastal ecosystems, which help us to live and enjoy life on this planet. I found this book engaging, informative, and inspirational, and I highly recommend it to children and parents alike."
- Reader's Favoreite Reviews Pikasho Deka
"What could girls from Bangladesh, Brazil, Gabon, and Malaysia possibly have in common? Add to that list girls from the US, Argentina, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Denmark, Venezuela and other countries. Sissel Waage believes that the unifying factor is that those who live near the sea have fellowship because of their love of the coast. In The ForestGirls: At the Edge of Land and Sea, Sissel shares how, although different, these areas have much in common and that commonality unites girls from around the world. Instead of dwelling on each nationality’s differences, Sissel highlights what each girl has in common. These girls bond because of their love for mangrove forests, tidal salt marshes, kelp forests, and seagrass meadows. This book will show how the world can unite by recognizing the qualities we have in common instead of separating because of slight differences.
Sissel Waage has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley. She uses her vast knowledge to share the wonderful world of coastal life and a love for aquatic life. The ForestGirls, at the Edge of Land and Sea is richly illustrated by Ana-Maria Cosma. Parents can use this book to introduce their children to life around the globe and how, though different, we are all the same. Learning to major in what we have in common can lead this world to a peaceful co-existence. Your children will also learn about different ecosystems and how each plays a part in helping this world continue to support life. I highly recommend this book for its delightful, poetic presentation of such a wide range of subjects. Spend time with your child exploring the world and international friendships."
- Reader's Favorite Reviewer Philip Van Heusen
"The ForestGirls, with the World Always, by Sissel Waage is an incredible picture book that features diversity, ecology, and girls from around the world. It's an enlightening story about saving our environment. The book is about respecting, climbing, and planting trees to make a difference in the world. It's a joyous book with contemporary and urgent climate themes."
"Waage’s tender, gorgeously illustrated picture debut for children celebrates our vital and powerful relationship with trees.
Told through the eyes of young girls from around the world, the story starts with the nature-loving youngsters sitting under trees and gazing up at their branches – but then, 'The girls grew. The trees grew. Upward and outward.' They progress to climbing the trees, then to planting them, and finally to helping care for and heal forests around the world. Though they live far apart, the girls are united in their actions, a theme that Waage illuminates with a poetic refrain: 'On their own, together. With the world, always.'
The highlight of this enchanting book is Ana-Maria Cosma’s dreamy watercolor illustrations. The colorful, soft-edged pictures show girls from a variety of countries and the trees they love: a lombi tree in the Republic of Congo, a banyan tree in India, an acacia tree in Australia, and a redwood in the United States. The smiling, culturally diverse characters are depicted lounging on branches, planting seedlings, and running and playing together, and the whimsical pictures seem to exist in the fuzzy space just between imagination and reality. Younger readers will be amused by the playful details – like the frolicsome squirrel making an appearance on several pages.
Waage, an environmental scientist, demonstrates her love for the natural world in spare, impactful prose.
This quick, delightful read will pique the same curiosity in kids and adults, offering many opportunities to ask questions and do further research on different trees and the countries where they thrive. With its enduring message and exquisite illustrations, this story will help young readers understand the many ways trees protect us – and why we need to help protect them."
"Takeaway: Waage’s tender, gorgeous picture book celebrates our vital relationship with trees through the eyes of young girls from around the world."
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
"On their own, together./ With the world, always.” Beautiful words to ponder. Imagine what we could do if we all worked together. The ForestGirls, with the World Always relates how girls around the world admire the trees native to their country. Sissel Waage reminds us that as the girls grow, so do the trees and so does the bond between them. And the girls care for these trees; they plant more trees and care for them, too. In return, the trees of the world provide a safe and healthy environment in which the girls can continue to grow. Where there are trees, there is also hope for a better world.
Sissel Waage’s picture book story, The ForestGirls, with the World Always, is an empowering story for young girls. Written with compassion for both girls and the wonderful planet on which we live, the author has provided an engaging and informative look at the world of trees. She expertly presents girls from many countries around the world and features trees native to that area, like the lombi tree in the Republic of Congo and the baobab tree of Madagascar (one of my favorite trees because it’s so legendary in proportions). The author is teaching young readers about trees around the world as well as something about the culture.... The language is simple and some phrases are repeated for added effect.
The illustrations are superb and invite the young reader into the mission to save our planet by saving our trees. At the end of the book is a world map showing some of the areas featured in the book. This is a valuable educational tool as well as an enjoyable read."
Judge, 30th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
"This book is exemplary in its voice and writing style... [as well as] its theme of the story. It is unique but still has strong appeal for most readers in its intended genre.
This story is really sweet and genuine. I like the way the different parts of the world are represented through the illustrations of the girls and the different trees. It's a wonderful way of exploring themes of inclusion, individuality, unique beauty, and promotes curiosity of the rest of the world.
The text and layout of the inside is so gentle and welcoming. I got such a calm feel from the book's tone.... It will be delightful for folks to read this together while talking about family histories, traditions of other cultures, and to help prompt discussions about being global citizens and good friends. Love it!"
"Fiction, we are told, is 'literature in the form of prose that describes imaginary events and people.' Sometimes the prose on the page is aided by wondrous illustrations, the combination giving the reader an experience that expands our thinking, opens our hearts, and teaches about a world that we would love to inhabit. Sometimes it isn't that these are 'imaginary events and people,' but what we can imagine and therefore see in the world around us.
The ForestGirls, with the World Always, by Sissel Waage, illustrated by Ana-Maria Cosma (Lulu Press), invites us to see that as girls and trees grow 'upward and outward,' so do we all to the betterment of our world."
"Inspired by the strength and science of trees, Waage (co-editor of, Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark A Movement) and illustrator Ivana Josipovic have created a thoughtful and beautifully guided journal for younger teen girls.
Waage's text is knowledgeable and approachable, presenting trees as a metaphor for heightening self-understanding and sparking ideas for future goals. Combined with Josipovic’s minimalist yet richly inviting illustrations, this journal delivers a perfect canvas of stimulating prompts while leaving room for readers to find their own voice and cultivate their inner artist.
Though nature journals are not a new concept, Waage’s readers are in expert hands here. Tree facts precede each journaling prompt — such as details about mycorrhizae, a fungal root network that grows around trees and is used to illustrate the importance of support networks — and showcase Waage’s insight as an environmental scientist and skill as a writer.
Josipovic’s choice to use a limited color palette of black, white, and green allows the text more impact and leaves room for younger readers to add in their own handiwork – and thought-provoking moments like examining the heartwood of a tree and likening it to personal convictions will spark intense reflection for readers.
This journal is permeated by a reverence for nature and mutual respect for readers. Dr. Waage writes, 'Perhaps a sense of wonder is\ the same\ that every living being feels,' and the text is not only visually gorgeous, but also rife with emotional resonance. Readers will find dreamy inspiration on every page, and the journal concludes with the hope of 'A vibrant future\ where all living beings,\ everywhere,\ can breathe, and\ thrive.'
Ultimately a visionary journal for introspective, nature-loving teen girls, or readers looking to incorporate more of nature’s wisdom into their own lives, The ForestGirls: A Journal, A Journey distinguishes itself as a standout."
"Takeaway: A journal rich with environmental inspiration and scientific facts that will appeal to nature lovers and young writers."
"Great for fans of: Katie Daisy’s How to Be a Wildflower,
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
"The ForestGirls: A Journal, A Journey, written by Sissel Waage and illustrated by Ivana Josipovic, is a book of thought-provoking prompts to assist young readers in connecting with the natural world around them. As an interactive, guided journal Waage plants the seeds of conscious growth by using plants, trees, and other living elements as metaphors for our own unique characteristics in eight interconnected parts: Look Around, Dig In, Nourish, Energize, Reach, Stand Firm, Be Resilient, and Look Forward. Integrated into the text is the artwork of Josipovic who blends a monochrome palette of black, white, and green in sketch patterns to breathe life into the words.
As a parent who is raising children in the near center of a major city, I often forget that their vision of the planet is shaped almost exclusively by skyscrapers, pavements, and double-decker buses. My teenage daughter had to really step back with a prompt in The ForestGirls where Sissel Waage had her drawing our neighborhood without any buildings, homes or cars, and only using trees, parks, and natural landscape. It was such a small project but it felt so much bigger. Another standout is the transformation of light to energy during photosynthesis, and finding what gave her energy.
We both liked the simple but striking illustrations by Ivana Josipovic, with a particular piece that has a young girl on a tree swing with the wind blowing through her hair.
This is a wonderful journal that would be of benefit to many as we have our children look within themselves and take stock of what surrounds them."
"I absolutely loved this journal. It makes a terrific gift for young and old alike. It’s great for prompting reflection and goal setting and just a beautiful framework for thinking about the world and our place in it.... I’ve also gifted the journal to a few friends who have absolutely loved it! There are quite a lot of journals out there, but this one is special -- definitely grounding and energizing!"
"This wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated journal is such a gem. Don't let the title fool you, it's for all humans really, young and otherwise. It makes a great gift to anyone who is looking for an intentional guide to sit with the challenges of our era, and find joy in and compassion for the world and themselves. Love it."