In his band, the Decemberists, songwriter Colin Meloy tells rich fantasy stories through songs that are often inspired by myths and the macabre. He's brought the same sensibility to his children's book series, The Wildwood Chronicles. Beginning with Wildwood, which came out last fall, and continuing with the newest installment, Under Wildwood, the series follows a young heroine, Prue McKeel, as she journeys into a magical forest world set in modern-day Portland.
"It came from just living in Portland and going for walks in Forest Park and seeing how those two worlds really live one on top of the other," says Meloy. "It just feels like if you go for a walk in Forest Park, often you're stepping out of the metropolitan world into this forested near-wilderness, because it kind of does feel so wild."
The series is a collaboration between Meloy and his wife, illustrator Carson Ellis, whose past work includes Decemberists album covers as well as illustrations for many children's books. They'll both be in town for readings and signings tonight at 7 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, and tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl Street. For more information, visit www.wildwoodchronicles.com.