In the Forest by Marie Hall Ets
1967, the Viking Press, New York.
I haven’t had time to walk in the forest lately, but our garden is looking pretty jungly at the moment. You can imagine there might be some lions or bears in here.
In the Forest is a cute little vintage book which would be suitable for children of all ages.
It tells the story of a child who goes for a walk in the forest, and along the way he encounters many animals, including kangaroos, a lion and some bears. He isn’t afraid, however, and they don’t seem very fierce. They all decide to join him and parade through the forest.
They stop for a picnic of peanuts, jam, ice cream and cake, and then they play games (Drop-the-Handkerchief, London-Bridge-is-Falling-Down, Hide-and-Seek). Eventually the boy’s father finds him and takes him home, but he knows he will come back and play with the animals again.
It is a very sweet little story with charmingly simple illustrations. It could work very well for teaching English because there is a lot of repetition and text which is suitable for performing actions (the lion combing his hair, the parade, the games, etc.).
For a simple story I thought I would make a simple little cake. The one in the picture appears to be some kind of bundt cake, but I thought one that took advantage of seasonal fruit might be nice. A buckle is an old-fashioned cake/pudding which often has a streusel topping, but I just used a Victoria sponge mix.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp honey
1 small punnet of raspberries
Ice cream or cream to serve.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line an 8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper. Combine all the ingredients (except the raspberries) with a wooden spoon or mixer until you have a soft batter. Do not overmix. Arrange half the raspberries on the bottom of the cake tin, and pour the batter over the top. Then press the rest of the berries into the top of the batter, and drizzle a spoonful of honey over them. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden. Turn out when cool. To make the cake more portable for picnics in the forest, you could punch out individual mini cakes with round cookie cutters and wrap them in wax paper and string. They can be enjoyed hot or cold with ice cream, although I had mine with cream.
Take on a walk in the forest and play hide and seek!