Review: Finding Wild
I have to admit that my idea of being “outdoorsy” is reading a book on the back patio of my Minneapolis apartment building. I’ve already admitted in my recent post about city life that I am more drawn to urban communities than rural, and frankly, the idea of being anywhere that can be classified as “the middle of nowhere” isn’t at all appealing to me.
That said, I have a strong appreciation for nature. That’s actually one of the things I really love about living in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis is a wonderfully green place to live. There are trees, parks, lakes, and even waterfalls right in the city. It’s the perfect place to live for someone like myself who wants to explore nature in small doses without straying too far from my apartment building.
Perhaps that’s why I liked Finding Wild so much. It is a lovely ode to adventure that starts with two young explorers standing near the top of a subway station. They are at the edge of a sidewalk where the concrete is overtaken by the forest. The book begins with two questions:
“What is wild?
And where can you find it?”
The poetic meditation on the nature of wildness that follows explores the sort of wild that you can find when you venture away from the paved paths of the city onto the forest trails. There you’ll find a wild that is full of curiosities begging you to look closely and examine what’s there. It’s enough to make even me start dreaming about venturing off the beaten track to the place where “wild sings.”
What happens, though, when the two young explorers in the book return to their city home where all they can see are “streets and cars and buildings so high, they can hide the sky”? Don’t give up. You may have to look a little more closely, but there is a wild to be found even in the city if you look closely enough.
Finding Wild is sure to inspire readers of all ages to take a moment to wonder at the natural world around them wherever they happen to find themselves and look for beauty in unexpected places. The simple, but lovely, text reads aloud well, and the book would be right at home in a language arts unit to share as an example of figurative language.
Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Abigail Halpin (ill.) 9781101932810. July 2016. Gr. Ps-2
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