Don't Go into the Forest


56 pages
ISBN 0-7737-6190-X
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Leanne Franson
Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


Little people will tie you up, chew on your nails, and bury you alive.
An old woman will point her magic pot at you and cook you for dinner.
Flying heads will chase you through the woods. These are three good
reasons why children should not go into the forest at night. This second
book in the Easy-To-Read Spooky Tales series (the first was Don’t Open
the Door!, 2000) features three traditional folk tales linked by a
common theme. Although the stories are designed to entertain young
readers, they also carry commonsense messages like “Don’t go where
your parents can’t see you” or “Don’t open the door to
strangers.” All stories end on a happy or merely mysterious note so
the “nightmare factor” is very low.

The stories are built around three young boys from different cultures
who are spending a weekend together at the cottage. They take a walk to
the local store but on the way home they are tempted to take a shortcut
through the forest because it is getting dark. One of the boys, however,
tells his friends a folk tale about why children are not supposed to go
into a forest alone. His story prompts the other two boys to tell
similar stories from their folk traditions. Before they know it, they
are back at the cottage safe and sound. The stories are illustrated with
more than two dozen humorous black-and-white illustrations. Highly


Charles, Veronika Martenova., “Don't Go into the Forest,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,