Wild Child

Wild Child
Dara McAnulty and Barry Falls
Macmillan Children’s Books

This is such a beautiful book written by award-winning author of Diary Of A Young Naturalist and gorgeously illustrated by rising star, Barry Falls.

With his distinctive voice, Dara McAnulty invites readers to take a close look at the world around, journeying into and exploring with all your senses, the five different locations that he describes both poetically and scientifically.

First off is a look through the window, after which we go outside into the garden, wander in the woods, saunter up onto heathlands and meander along the riverbank. At each location we pause while Dara provides a lyrical introduction to the habitat followed by a wealth of factual information about the wildlife – both flora and fauna – to be found there.

This includes a discovery spread where in turn, you can learn the collective nouns for eleven different birds,

take a look at classification, find out how various trees propagate

and about migration and metamorphosis.

An activity to do once you get home concludes most sections: make a bird feeder, make a terrarium, create a journey stick (I love that).

Assuredly this will help any reader, young or not so young, connect more deeply with the joys and wonders of the natural world, and find their inner wild child.

The author finishes with some sage words about the fragility of nature and caring for the countryside, plus a glossary.

Altogether a smashing book for families and schools.

Bother with Babes

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Wild Child
Steven Salerno
Abrams Children’s Books
Time was the biggest and strongest ruled the jungle; but that was before the arrival of a new creature: a small soft-skinned one with just two teeth. It terrorized the other animals: it was …

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Time to “tame that wild thing”, decide the other animals, sick and tired of all the grabbing, pinching, pooping, pulling, kicking, biting, hitting and howling.
Various taming strategies ensue: Giraffe feeds it leaves, Elephant sprays it with water,

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Vulture perches it upon a tall tree, Anteater feeds it bugs, Hippo rolls it in the mud and Lion roars at it, all of which only serve to fuel its fury.

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Gorilla however, tries an altogether different tack. – a much gentler one and after some sweet banana and a clean up, followed by a cuddle, the holy terror is a wild child no longer, it’s a mild child, well temporarily.

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After which it’s a case of ‘let the wild rumpus’ commence … At least the animals are smiling now.

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Dramatic, action packed cartoon style jungly scenes combined with punchy prose make for a storytime treat with plenty of potential for wild joining in – vocal and physical.
Fun, fast, forceful and furious.

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The Baby That Roared
Simon Puttock and Nadia Shireen
Nosy Crow
Mr and Mrs Deer are desperate for a baby and when they discover one on their doorstep: it seems their dream has at last come true.

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However, the infant starts to cry, or rather ROAR and no matter what they offer, it won’t stop. Time to call in the reserves suggests Mrs Deer. First to come is Uncle Duncan. His warm milk suggestion doesn’t produce the desired outcome but Uncle Duncan is nowhere to be seen. And, there’s a decided aroma around the place.
Auntie Agnes is next with advice: a nappy change is her suggestion and off go the Deers to collect nappies, towels and ointment. They’re soon back, but where is Auntie Agnes?
The roaring continues so Doctor Fox is consulted. His arrival is swift but his action ineffectual: Still the baby roars but as for the doc, he’s nowhere to be seen.
Thank goodness then for Granny Bear who decides a burping will do the trick.

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She applies several hearty pats and then …

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And out come the missing helpers (along with a whole lot of gunk!).

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Granny bear of course can see what delighted readers will have known from the outset: “That’s not a dear little baby!” … “That is a LITTLE MONSTER!” she cries. And off it dashes. Time to get a pet …
Nadia Shireen’s wickedly subversive humour (first evident in Good Little Wolf) is perfect for Simon Puttock’s tongue-in-cheek, fractured fairytale (a re-issue). I love the way all we see of the consumed characters are the odd accessories – a hat, a scarf, a stethoscope.
The repeat phrases: “ “A baby?” said (character’s name) “A dear little baby? I shall come at once!”; and ‘… when Mr and Mrs Deer came back – how very peculiar! — had disappeared, and the baby was still roaring!’ are used to great effect and listeners soon take great delight in joining in with them
Enormously engaging and imminently re-readable.

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