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Home » Books » Children's » Fiction » Nature » General

Wild Child

By Lynn Plourde, Greg Couch

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Format: Paperback, 32 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 01 September 2003
In this magical bedtime book, Autumn doesn't want to sleep. Mother Earth wants to put her wild child, Autumn, to bed. But Autumn isn't ready. First she wants a song, then a snack, then pj's, and a kiss. Lynn Plourde's crisp text crackles like fall leaves and Greg Couch's illustrations are a color extravaganza. Wild children and their parents will love this scrumptious, satisfying tribute to the wonders of nature and family. Wild Child is the first of four seasonal picture books by Lynn Plourde and Greg Couch.


The bouncing, methodical rhyme scheme that served Plourde well in her humorous Pig in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud and her recent Moose, of Course! works against the theme in this bedtime book. As Mother Earth repeatedly tries to put her daughter to sleep, she's met with the same reply, " `Not for a while,' said her wild child," who comes up with a variety of stalling tactics, including a song, a snack and, of course, a kiss goodnight. Each spread offers a number of clues as to the wild child's identity, most of which are smoothly integrated into Couch's (Moonball) artwork. While he keeps the girl visibly human in face and stature, fall leaves make up her hair; and hills, streams and stones comprise Mother Earth's beautifully sensuous lines and curves as she gives her daughter the gifts of the season (e.g., a snack of "Crunchy, munchy,/ chewy chestnuts./ Plumpy, lumpy,/ pulpy pumpkins"). His subtle brushwork and golden palette convey a dusk slowly metamorphosing to nightfall. Unfortunately, the jarring closing lines, which describe the mother's kiss, end the book on an eerie note: "A gusty, blustery, twisty embrace./ A crystalish, icicle-ish,/ icebergy kiss." Couch's artwork, showing Mother Earth tucking the girl (revealed to be Autumn) into bed, softens the imagery, but readers may well be put off by the cool language for a ritual usually characterized by warmth. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

chipmunks patter..." to the last caress, "A whooshy, whirlishy,/windswept snuggle," Mother Earth tries to put her wild child, Autumn, to bed. Washes of liquid acrylic in warm browns, greens, and russets fill each double-page spread; the monumental Mother is molded from mountains with tresses of sun-streaked clouds. Autumn is attired in flaming foliage-a whirling dervish of energy. Plourde's inventive rhythm and rhyme keep step with the activity in the forests and fields. Both storytime audiences and individual readers will delight in detecting the changing form and palette used to depict Mother Earth as time passes, and they will rejoice that just as Autumn drifts off to sleep, another child appears: Winter! Pair this with Chris Van Allsburg's The Stranger (Houghton, 1986) for a program presenting intriguing fall personalities. Wild Child will go "a-swooshing" and "a-swirling" off of your shelves.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

EAN: 9780689863493
ISBN: 0689863497
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks
Dimensions: 28.09 x 21.69 x 0.25 centimetres (0.14 kg)
Age Range: 5-9 years
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3 review(s)
All Reviews
Tracy Henderson on
Both my 3 and 6 year olds loved this book. It has such lovely colourful pictures that really draw the child in to investigate them more. The story has a lovely gentle tone to it and uses a child as a metaphor for Autumn. It is also great for introducing the spiritual aspect of mother earth to very young children in a way they can grasp. The story has a lovely ending as Autumn goes to sleep and winter awakes. This has left us wanting to find the book about winter. I will keep this book sacred for every autumn now.
Katrena Dunne on
This is the most beautiful story and the illustrations are magical!!
Jayne Marti on
This is a wonderful book to mark the changing of the seasons, in tandem with Lynn Plourde's other books. I particularly love the illustrations in this one - the colours are delightful. Some of the language used is a bit 'modern' for me, such as calling a kiss a 'smack' to fit the rhyme, but absolutely a gorgeous book.

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