'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 21 April 2018

Review: Wild

From Emily Hughes, the creator of The Little Gardener, comes another thoroughly enchanting and stupendously beautiful title.

The production quality of this title is just incredible. I have come to adore finding new titles published by Flying Eye Books, who have a knack for pairing unique stylised artwork with high quality papers and in this case a delicious cloth binding. The end papers alone left me swooning and I'll admit that I'd love to hang most every page of these illustrations up on my walls at home for endless hours of perusal.

Wild is a unique story in both its concept and simplicity. A child is raised in the woods. Birds teach her to speak. Bears teach her to eat. Wolves teach her to play. All these things she understands and in her place she is happy. But when animals that look like herself find her and remove her from the woods, she finds that they do everything wrong. They speak wrong, they eat wrong, they play wrong. She does not understand this place and she is unhappy.

In succinct and beautiful text, just over one hundred words in fact, Hughes manages to convey a simple message that will settle in your heart and grow rapidly more complex with each reading.

The illustrations are incredibly detailed and so rich in texture that they almost demand fingertips to be brushed over them in wonder. It is amazing to see the range of emotional expression experienced by the little girl as the story progresses, from joy, admiration, mischief, contentment, to anger, confusion and sadness. My favourites however are the various stages of rage that she experiences throughout her time with the new animals closely followed by the serene joy of her return to the wild.

This is truly picture book perfection through and through.

Title: Wild
Author/Illustrator: Emily Hughes
Publisher: Flying Eye Books, $24.99 
Publication Date: 10 September 2013
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781909263086
For ages: 3-7
Type: Picture Book