cover of The Boreal Forest by L. E. Carmichael
The Boreal Forest, illustration by Josée Bisaillon
The Boreal Forest, illustration by Josée Bisaillon
The Boreal Forest, illustration by Josée Bisaillon
The Boreal Forest, illustration by Josée Bisaillon
The Boreal Forest, illustration by Josée Bisaillon

The Boreal Forest: A Year in the World’s Largest Land Biome

Grade 3-6
Released in 2020
Reading Level:

The vast boreal forest spans a dozen countries in the northern regions like “a scarf around the neck of the world,” making it the planet’s largest land biome. Besides providing homes for a diversity of species, this spectacular forest is also vitally important to the planet: its trees clean our air, its wetlands clean our water and its existence plays an important role in slowing global climate change. In this beautifully written book, award-winning author L. E. Carmichael explores this special wilderness on a tour of the forest throughout the four seasons, from one country to another. Evocative watercolour and collage artwork by award-winning illustrator Josée Bisaillon provides a rare glimpse of one of the world’s most magnificent places.

With excellent STEM applications in earth science and life science, this enjoyable book aims to foster environmental awareness of and appreciation for this crucial forest and its interconnections with the entire planet. In a unique approach, the text features a lyrical fictional narrative describing the wildlife in a specific part of the forest, paired with informational sidebars to provide further understanding and context. Also included are a world map of the forest, infographics on the water cycle and the carbon cycle, a glossary, resources for further reading, author’s sources and an index. This book has been reviewed by experts and was written in consultation with Indigenous peoples who live in the boreal forest region.

Click here to download the free Teaching Guide for The Boreal Forest

Click here for The Great Big Boreal Forest Resource List, including a free downloadable activity guide.

Best Of Lists:

Bank Street College of Education – Best Books of the Year 2021, 9-12-years-old

Chicago Public Library – Best Informational Books for Older Readers of 2020

Ontario Library Association – Best Bets of 2020

American Library Association – Top 10 Sustainability-Themed Children’s Books 2021

Skipping Stones Honor Awards, 2021


  The accessible text proves its point that the boreal forest is both vast and vital. Excellent for the natural history and science shelves.  
— Kirkus - STARRED Review
  An informative introduction to the boreal forest.  
— Booklist
  ...intriguing... calm and enchanting...  
— Quill & Quire
  “... a timely and necessary celebration of the boreal forest in Canada and around the world.”  
— Montreal Review of Books
  A fascinating introduction to the world’s largest biome. Recommended.  
— School Library Journal
  Now that we are all armchair travellers, book some time with this splendid scientific travelogue.  
— Linda Ludke, Collections Management Librarian, London Public Library
  This is a gem and deserves a place in many school and public libraries.  
— John Clark, Goodreads
  Starred Review  
— Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre