Follow Mary Casanova on Facebook. Skype information
Hush Hush, Forest
Wake Up, Island
written by Mary Casanova
illus. by Nick Wroblewski
University of Minnesota Press
August 2018
(HC) 978-0-8166-9425-9
Hush Hush, Forest  
Book Description:

Lyrical words and elegant woodcuts capture the quiet beauty of the forest as day fades to night and autumn gives way to the North Woods winter

While we are tucked in, snug in warm blankets as we listen to bedtime stories, the woods around us whisper another tale. As the golden leaves waft through the lengthening shadows, the loon sings one last lullaby, the whirring hummingbird takes one last sip, the industrious beaver saws one last branch for her lodge. Here, in enchanting words and woodcuts, is the magic of night falling and winter approaching in the North Woods. Hush Hush, Forest peers through twilight’s window at the raccoon preening, the doe and fawn bedding down, the last bat of the season flitting away. The owl surveys, the rabbit scurries, the bear hunkers, readying her den.

Marking the rhythm between the falling leaf and the falling snowflake, picturing the rituals of creatures big and small as they prepare for the long winter’s sleep, this charming book captures a time of surpassing wonder for readers of all ages—and bids everyone in the hushed forest a peaceful good night.

For more information visit
the University of Minnesota Press website.
Video Interview

Mary and Nick; interview on WDIO-TV:

Reviews and Comments

“The narrative doesn't give nature information so much as it soothes and quiets readers’ spirits with its gentle and lyrical telling of preparation and rest. A soothing and superb story to read to nature lovers at bedtime.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Wroblewski’s beautiful woodcuts, which complement Casanova’s lyrical text, is an artist and printmaker specializing in handmade woodcut block prints.”

Pioneer Press

It’s safe to say I’m always looking for delicious bedtime books. Our busy, chatty, distractible four year-old adores her cartoon-princess-unicorn stories, and its become my mission to balance out the commercialism that flows through our house, without being harsh. I look for books with something new to say, or that help us with our vocabulary, I look for books that work as well for girls as for boys, and that reinforce our family’s love of the outdoors. And, I won’t buy a book unless its beautifully illustrated and well written. Too much to ask?

You know that feeling when you open a book with your child and sense you’re in for something special, different. Hush Hush, Forest checks all of my usual criteria and beyond. The illustrations are serious, artful and dramatic. The words are more verse than narrative and leave space for our musings and woodland wanderings—we flip through the pages and trace our fingers over the words and the pictures…

Remember when we heard that big owl? … I might be a little shy of owls.

Yes, black bears do live in our state, Daddy saw one once, let’s ask him tomorrow …

… Mommy, can we go to the aurora borealis?

Hush Hush, Forest calls us to snuggle up, to calm down after a busy bright day, to consider what the birds, animals and the forest are doing to prepare for winter, even now while we settle down to rest. Each illustration is a story of its own, full of drama and the printmaker’s hand—I appreciate the unidealized beauty of real animals and real places and the real woodgrain showing through ink. Quiet like the woods after a snowfall, each page is deliberately arranged to encourage us to pause, take a breath between thoughts… Did my little girl fall fast asleep by the last page? Yes, yes she did.

Reviewed by Kari Finkler, Editor Quetico Superior Wilderness News

Mary Casanova. Site designed and maintained by Winding Oak.