The ForestGirls

A Journal, A Journey

Young Adult - Non-Fiction
82 Pages
Reviewed on 03/10/2022
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Author Biography

Sissel Waage, Ph.D., is an environmental scientist, author, and advisor, who has worked with companies, foundations, and NGOs on sustainability, global reforestation, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation, including the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF’s) Africa Program, Sustainable Northwest, The Natural Step, Forest Trends, and Business for Social Responsibility.

She is the editor of two books, Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement (Island Press, 2007), and Ants, Galileo, and Gandhi: Designing the Future of Business through Nature, Genius, and Compassion (Routledge, 2003). She has also authored 100+ articles that have been published in The Economist, The Guardian, Environmental Leader, GreenBiz, Corporate Environmental Strategy, Ecosystem Services, and Environmental Finance, as well as in numerous scientific, peer-reviewed journals including, Society & Natural Resources, Political Geography, the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, and the Journal of Cleaner Production.

Sissel has taught courses at the University of California, Santa Barbara's Bren School and in the Executive Program at Presidio Graduate School.

A prize winner for creative writing, Sissel's awards include the Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Fiction Essay Prize and the Prism Prize for Climate Literature.

Sissel has a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a B.A. from Amherst College. She was also an exchange student at the National University of Singapore, as well as a Fulbright Scholar the University of Oslo’s Institute of Human Rights.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The ForestGirls: A Journal, A Journey, written by Sissel Waage and illustrated by Ivana Josipovic, is a book of thought-provoking prompts to assist young readers in connecting with the natural world around them. As an interactive, guided journal Waage plants the seeds of conscious growth by using plants, trees, and other living elements as metaphors for our own unique characteristics in eight interconnected parts: Look Around, Dig In, Nourish, Energize, Reach, Stand Firm, Be Resilient, and Look Forward. Integrated into the text is the artwork of Josipovic who blends a monochrome palette of black, white, and green in sketch patterns to breathe life into the words.

As a parent who is raising children in the near center of a major city, I often forget that their vision of the planet is shaped almost exclusively by skyscrapers, pavements, and double-decker buses. My teenage daughter had to really step back with a prompt in The ForestGirls where Sissel Waage had her drawing our neighborhood without any buildings, homes or cars, and only using trees, parks, and natural landscape. It was such a small project but it felt so much bigger. Another standout is the transformation of light to energy during photosynthesis, and finding what gave her energy. We both liked the simple but striking illustrations by Ivana Josipovic, with a particular piece that has a young girl on a tree swing with the wind blowing through her hair. This is a wonderful journal that would be of benefit to many as we have our children look within themselves and take stock of what surrounds them.