The Forest Keeper

The true story of Jadav Payeng

full color throughout $ 18.95 US / $ 25.95 CAD Hardcover / 8.5 x 11 40 pages / ages 5 to 9 ISBN: 978-0-7358-4505-3 On Sale: 18. April 2023


The Forest Keeper

The true story of Jadav Payeng

Trees don’t grow on sandbars . . . but a boy from India grew a forest.

What can one person do in the face of global environmental degradation? Indian Jadav Payeng has proven that each and every one of us can make a difference. As a boy, he began planting trees on a sandbank in the state of Assam. Nobody believed that he would succeed in doing so. But since 1979, a forest the size of Central Park has emerged, offering a home to countless animals and plants. It was not until 2007 that a photographer accidentally discovered the forest and made Payeng known to the world beyond India.

Rina Singh has sensitively retraced the story of young Jadav. In Ishita Jain’s picture book debut as illustrator, readers feel immersed in the spectacular habitat whose existence borders on a miracle come true.

Teacher’s Guide coming soon!

Read or listen to an interview with Ishita Jain here.

Showing what one person with limited resources can do to restore the environment, the story celebrates Payeng’s vision and determination. The richly colorful illustrations vary from an expressive overhead view of the forceful river to a smaller picture showing the precisely delineated leaves of various trees. An interesting picture book for conservation-minded kids.
Carolyn Phelan, Booklist

The Forest Keeper is a beautiful story about how one single person can make a difference for our planet. It's the perfect book to inspire more of us to act, in big ways or small ways, and truly create change.
Kara Cybanski, DC Canada Education Publishing

This story feels almost magical, but is all the more wondrous because it is real! It teaches children that caring for the earth and its creatures is important, and that just one of us can make a big difference.
Alana Haley, Schuler Books

A great book to show children not to give up, especially in regards to helping out environment, from the water and the trees to the animals that live in them.
Mollie Mitchell, HearthFire Books