Graphic Novel Review: The Great North Wood

The Great North Wood by Tim Bird. Avery Hill Publishing, 2018. 9781910395363. Not a thick book with lots of pages, but they’re oversized and beautifully colored.

This graphic novel is a mediation on the place in the UK where an ancient forest used to be, a guided tour through time (and a bit through space) led by a fox. In the first scene, the fox is enjoying whatever leftovers it found in a takeout box in front of a fast food chicken place, now. And then it’s the ice age, and then trees are starting to grow. It’s not quite linear, it’s a bit magical, and it’s got way more pink (and much, much less green) than you’d expect in a book about a forest. There are people, too, in stories about Honor Oak, Ned Righteous, Gipsy Hill, and more. It achieves a sense of stillness, and it’s beautiful.

Many thanks to the pro at my local library system ordered it, and to the folks at Avery Hill, who have also published a few short graphic novels by Tillie Walden that I love.


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