Additional Book Information
Series: The New York Review Children's Collection
Publication Date: April 12, 2022
by Marie Dorléans, translated from the French by Alyson Waters
It’s spring! Warm and green, the great outdoors beckons, especially when you’ve built a fort to play in with your friends. Our Fort is the story of three friends who set out one day to visit their secret fort at the edge of the woods. The weather looks fine, but no sooner have they left home and walked into the hills than the sun disappears behind the clouds. Crows fly by, calling, and the wind begins to blow. Suddenly the day turns into night. It’s a storm! Will the friends make it to shelter? Will their fort survive the storm? Marie Dorléans’s illustrations capture the sensory pleasures of nature, as well as its capriciousness, while her story reminds us of the simple joy of being with friends and sharing a great adventure.
Published with the support of Villa Albertine, in partnership with the French Embassy.
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The exquisite illustrations, reminiscent of Japanese woodcuts in their composition and line, tell the story of three friends who revisit a fort they have built in the woods on the far side of a meadow. . . . This is some spectacular bookmaking. . . . Everything about the drawings propels us forward into the book. . . It’s a simple story. Yet I can imagine Our Fort having a profound impact on a child — a child who might someday go into the woods with friends and spend weeks of a happy summer building a fort and establishing order, all the while thrilling to the prospect of sudden storms, wild winds and evil snakey forests.
—Sophie Blackall, New York Times Book Review
Dorléans demonstrates a keen eye and ear for the chatter and preoccupations of children left to their own devices, and her story shows respect for their independence, creativity, and resilience. This celebration of a day spent outdoors may inspire young readers to embark on their own explorations, and it serves to remind adults why unstructured time is so valuable."
—The Horn Book, starred review
Dorléans’s beautifully wielded artwork possesses a boundless energy. The delicate lines; the eye-catching details; the tight focus on the kids when the storm arrives; the quality of light before and after the storm: It all adds up to a visually rich story of the gifts (and scares and thrills) that the capricious outdoor world brings to those who make time for it. It’s a thrilling adventure, this one.
—Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Dorléans (The Night Walk) celebrates the magic of visiting a secret fort—an event that has less to do with the physical fort itself and more with the adventure of having one. . . . The long path pictured out the front door of a country house invites the children—and readers—deep into green hills: broad, sweeping oceans of grass and sky are washed with blues and greens; delicate tree leaves are worked in tiny, intricate black lines. . . . [a] tempestuous meditation on childhood freedom.