The Jungle

The Jungle


Written and illustrated by Helen Borten

A CBC “Hot Off The Press” Selection of June 2018

In a hot land near the equator, a new day is beginning. Out of the morning mist a vast ocean of leaves appears. What lies beneath—the varied and teeming life of animals and plants—is vividly portrayed through the cycle of day and night in the jungle world. Considered Helen Borton’s masterpiece, The Jungle was inspired by a trip to Guatemala in 1967, when few others were going there—let alone a woman—to seek out images and stories to share with children back in the US.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-230-5
7.13" (W) x 10" (H) • 40 pages • HCJ

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A CBC “Hot Off The Press” Selection of June 2018

"With beautiful, clear language, Helen Borten takes children through a single day deep within the Guatemalan rain forest in a reissue of her 1968 picture book, 'The Jungle' ... Matte paper whispers under the fingers as the pages turn to show layered prints and etchings of monkeys and ferns; of the armadillo and the jaguar. 'Under the leafy roof, it is dim and still,' Ms. Borten writes. 'Time seems to have stopped in a wild summer world of long, long ago. Thick vines hang from trees like ropes.' The evocative description of natural things in a natural setting brings to mind the cadences of Robert McCloskey’s beloved 1957 picture book, 'Time of Wonder.' With their patient pacing and a sense of quiet reverence, both are books to savor with children ages 3-9." ―Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"I was enchanted by the art first, and drawn into the jungle with her verbiage. This is the way to learn about rainforests."―Glass of Wine, Glass of Milk

Borten’s lyrical prose deepens the naturally enchanting science of the jungle. As the story unfolds across the hours of the day, we learn about the noisiest animal in the world, about the invisible universe of strange and magnificent nocturnal creatures, about the species composition of the insect orchestra scoring the jungle at dusk. … In era when the vocabulary of children’s imagination is being forcibly robbed of reverence for the wilderness and antiscientific, anti-nature, anti-truth propagandists are hard at work, Borten’s children’s books emerge not only as beacons of loveliness but also as quiet, steadfast pillars of resistance.” —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"First published in 1968, this view of a Guatemalan rainforest was the result of a trip Helen Borten took there in 1967... Mixed media compositions printed in Pantone spot colors on ample, uncoated ivory paper illustrate the mystery and beauty of that time that is no longer as climate change and corporate greed destroy the beauty."―Katrina Yurenka, Youth Services Book Review

Discover the jungle’s ecosystem, from its leafy rooftop to its soil-rich floor, in Helen Borten’s classic work, The Jungle. Readers will encounter orchids, parasol ants, macaws, bamboo, and other flora and fauna of the jungle. The 2018 reprint edition is as visually exhilarating as the original 1968 print. It will no doubt delight the curious and imaginative minds of young readers.” —Samantha D’Acunto, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden

In Helen Borten’s The Jungle, we slip into the natural world of a dense rainforest. We learn of the flora and fauna who inhabit different layers of the jungle and witness the wonders of wildlife  as one simple day passes in nature. Borten uses a mixed media approach to illustration, combining block print with collage to create striking images in earth tones of life in the forest. She crafts delicate prose that transport the reader to the heart of the jungle. […] Borten’s layered, mixed media illustrations will enchant both young and old readers. The book has a dreamy essence, as if you could shut your eyes and transport yourself to an forest still untouched by human influences.” —Amanda Flayer, Sail Away Story


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