A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Sheds lights on the process of grief after the loss of a parents, and how emotions can be felt in different ways. Has examples of metaphors and similes including, "drink in the quiet" and "as light as leaves." Can be a good way to spark discussion about a difficult social-emotional topic.
Losing a parent is painful process, but engaging in activities you used to do together can help ease the pain. Remembering positive memories with a loved one can bring you joy during your grief.
Positive Role Models
The main character shows emotional strength and gratitude for the world around him as he processes the difficult loss of his father.
The main character is a young Black boy. A drawing of a member of the Mohican Nation is displayed in one of the illustrations to show the indigenous history reflected in the lands where the boy is walking.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
A few images of animals of prey is done in darker shades, which some younger readers may find scary. The fact that the main character is dealing with parental loss may also be scary or triggering for some readers.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Walk in the Woods is a touching story by award-winning author Nikki Grimes with artwork by Coretta Scott King honorees, father-son duo Jerry Pinkney and Brian Pinkey. The book is about a young Black boy who goes on a solo nature walk to mourn the loss of his father and find the treasure that's been left for him. The story, illustrations, and embedded poems are emotional and expressive. Themes include having gratitude for memories with loved ones, coping with loss, and spending time in nature.
Is It Any Good?
This is a truly touching book that serves as a wonderful tribute to Jerry Pinkney's work and legacy. Sadly, A Walk in the Woods was published after his death in 2021. But much to the author's surprise, the highly respected artist had already created the story's light sketches before his passing. The book contains a mesmerizing collaboration of art from Jerry and his son, Brian Pinkey. He was able to "carry the paintbrush forward" for his father, much like the main character in the story.
A Walk in the Woods is evocative for readers based solely on the moving narrative and art, but knowing its creation process was a form of healing and mourning for it's author and illustrator deepens the experience. The book also stands out for it's portrayal of a Black character spending time in nature and appreciating it's unique qualities and inhabitants. It's a stunning book that reminds us of the importance of staying close to the loved ones we've lost, of connecting with nature as a way of processing emotions, and of letting hope and joy in even when sadness overwhelms.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Books About Grief
Picture Books with Truly Amazing Illustrations
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate