Wild by Emily Hughes

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Wild by Emily Hughes

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: All the beauty and magic of nature captured in an enchanting story of a child who is as much as part of nature as the birds or the trees.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2013
Publisher: Flying Eye Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1909263086

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Wild is the story of a girl who has grown up in the forest with only the animals to care for her, but this is where she belongs and she is happy. All of the animals love her and she loves them. She learns how to speak from the birds, what to eat from the bears, how to play from the foxes, and the deer and the rabbit keep her company as she sleeps. She has no clothing, nor does she need it, Her long mane of unruly green hair covers the important bits and gives her the appearance of something that has sprung to life from the forest itself. She is creature of pure innocence.

Everything would have continued very well for the little girl if two strange animals had not captured her and took her to a most horrible place - civilisation. She was handed over into the care of a famous child psychiatrist and his wife. Things went from bad to worse. The humans did everything wrong. They tried to force the child to live as they did and seemed incapable of loving her as she was. The child's only comforts in this horrible place are a cat and dog, and even they look pretty miserable. This section of the book is sad, but it was also delightfully amusing to my son as the girl wreaked havoc on the home she has been placed in. This book has the perfect balance between beauty and humour. It is also unique. This is a very empowering story, especially for girls, but in the most subtle of ways.

The illustrations in this book are captivating. The forest springs to life with a array of wildflowers, majestic trees and gentle mosses. The river embodies movement, vitality and life. The use of colour is sublime and the textures perfect. The artist has perfectly recreated an idyllic scene, and it is no wonder the child would not want to leave her woodland paradise. As wonderful as the scenery is, the wildlife are even more magical, with the pictures conveying warmth, affection and playfulness perfectly. This contrasts completely with the illustrations of the psychiatrist's home. It appears harsh and unwelcoming at first - and a complete disaster later. Personally, I preferred the tranquil forest scenes, but my son loved the chaos and disorder of the later illustrations. We both thoroughly enjoyed the final scenes. My son was especially well pleased to see a happy ending for the dog and cat as well.

The text in this book is very short, but in this case, it does not make for a simple story. The richness and complexity of the tale is told through the illustrations. In most cases there is a single sentence using only a few words in a large clear font for each two page spread. The words are almost all very short, frequently used words that a beginning reader will be able to decode easily. An adult reader will know that the man in the story is a famous psychiatrists from a newspaper headline cleverly drawn into the illustration, but the word psychiatrist is never used in the story itself, nor should it be. There is nothing to over complicate this for young readers. Although this a book that young children will easily be able to read on their own - you won't want them to. There is plenty in this for adults as well. This is a story that casts an enchantment so expertly, you'll feel like a child again reading it.

The book ends with the sentence Because you cannot tame something so happily wild. This sums it up perfectly.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

One Night, Far From Here by Julia Wauters

Booklists.jpg Wild by Emily Hughes is in the Top Ten Picture Books of 2013.
Buy Wild by Emily Hughes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wild by Emily Hughes at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Wild by Emily Hughes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wild by Emily Hughes at Amazon.com.


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