"Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book." - Stéphane Mallarmé
Last week my daughter was walking the Fern Canyon Trail at the San Diego Zoo. It is a less wandered trail almost hidden amongst the shady green. The neighboring Siamang provide a lively soundtrack as well. Halfway up the canyon path, my daughter stopped, looked around, and said, "We're in the wild!" This unprompted declaration is the result of reading and was inspired by the picture book Finding Wild. I am constantly amazed by how and what my daughter learns each and every day. She even corrected my grammar during a made-up song when I tried to force a rhyme! Inspired by her "wild" comment (and not because she drives me wild), I've compiled a short list of WILD titled books that also inspire me! Please note, the selection below is not meant to be a comprehensive and simply reflects recently read titles in our home library.
Finding Wild (2016) by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Abigail Halpin explores, "What is wild? And where can you find it?" It encourages observation and an appreciation for nature through lyrical language, personification of wild as the main character, and beautiful illustrations. My favorite page is “Wild sings” when my daughter likes to howl along!
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (2013) by Peter Brown
I love the irony of the animals participating in a disciplined society at odds with the idea of acting like wild animals, which is considered unorthodox! The use of color builds as Mr. Tiger explores his wild side. Repetition in the illustrations draws parallels between polite society and unchartered wild, leading the reader to recognize the value of self-discipline, while also staying true to yourself.
Explorers of the Wild (2016) by Cale Atkinson
In additional to the beautiful illustrations, I love that the text could be spoken by either character because of the illustrated parallels in their adventures! The interplay between art and text enhance this story about an unlikely friendship! And make sure you peek beneath the dust jacket...
Where the Wild Things Are (1963) by Maurice Sendak
My family revisited this one recently and my daughter was able to enjoy it much more at 2.5 years old. She pointed out details I never took the time to notice, like the different types of feet on the Wild Things. I enjoyed revisiting the beautiful language and poetic structure of the text.
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