National Parks are places of immeasurable beauty, but before them came somethings else…
Discover the origin of National Parks, through the lives and adventures of some fantastic creatures. The Creative One fashioned Realms that preceded the parks, as formless and without void until they were filled with remarkable life. In one of the Realms, known as Glacier, there is a formidable being known as the Huckleberry King who reigns supreme over his clan of living warrior berries. The Huckles had lived in relative peace, but have long-ranging disputes with the Redwood Trees, concerning the Ancient Manuscripts.
Throughout, the reader is immersed in a transformative adventure as the Huckles journey through the Realms. The Huckles encounter creatures and scenes that move and inspire in them a love for nature and the outdoors, which ushers them to nurture and care for their world. Eventually, the Huckles and Trees lay aside their disputes, as they are taught love and preservation for creation. This leads to the Realms being changed into National Parks that reflect these principles. As the Huckles do on their journey, so too must we fall in love with preservation of our world, in the way that God intends.
A Woodland Tale: Concerning How National Parks Came to Be is a story of epic proportions that, as the title suggests, tells the imaginative story of how national parks in the United States came into existence. It goes far back in history, long before humans inhabited the land, to a time when plants and animals ruled. The story focuses on a handful of whimsical creatures, including some very overgrown huckleberries, towering trees, and an adorable array of side characters. The Huckles and trees rule their separate Realms according to a set of Manuscripts that govern how they should behave. But when one group decides to push the boundaries, conflict becomes imminent. Can these two rival groups find a way to get along, or will chaos be the ultimate ruler of nature? Read a copy of Joseph C. Posner’s new book to find out!
“The parks, and nature as a whole, are not there for us to dominate, but rather for us to nurture and fall in love with. We must not unbalance nature, or its way will be lost.”
I loved the heart behind this story more than anything. Posner’s desire to instill and grow the love of nature in his readers is evident, and as a fellow lover of the outdoors, I deeply appreciated that. He even took the time to describe where to find the real-life locations and give the scientific names for the flora and fauna mentioned in the tale. One of the biggest results of reading this book for me is that I now have a greater desire to visit the places described in the story, which I think was part of this author’s intention. When I go, the landmarks I see there will have even deeper meaning for me!
The story was also incredibly imaginative, breathing life and souls into beings that we usually take for granted. The characters were unique and original, and each had their own struggles and challenges to overcome. A couple of my favorites include Goji, a sweet and compassionate berry who learns a lot in this tale, and Methuselah, simply because it’s SUCH a cool tree and actually exists to this day, which I find amazing! I especially loved the little side stories that introduced small characters that nevertheless played their own important roles in the overall story.
While Posner clearly poured a lot of research and effort into this lovely tale, at times it did feel like a bit too much. The descriptions were a little overdone, especially at the beginning of the story, which made it hard to get into reading. It took me 2 months to read the first 40%, but only a couple of days to read the rest because the author focused more on the story at that point, rather than giving physical descriptions of every little thing. The descriptions were also larger than life most of the time. I understand that many of the characters were larger than life on purpose, but to use that kind of description for every other character diminishes the gravity and magnitude of it. It felt like half of the characters were the biggest, fiercest, most magnificent creature in all the land… except only one creature should be given that description.
Despite this criticism, this was a fun, unique, and enjoyable tale that I had a good time reading. I think it would be an appropriate book to read aloud a little bit at a time as a bedtime story for children. The larger-than-life descriptions would likely be more greatly appreciated by a younger audience, and that age group is also impressionable enough for this story to have a deeper impact in terms of the message it sends. That being said, the point of the book makes it well worth the read, no matter how old you are!