REVIEW OF THE BOOK: *Wild One
Author: Jane Whittingham
Illustrator: Noel Tuazon
Published by: Pajama Press
Released: Nov 2017
Ages: 1 – 4
From the Publisher:
Parents and children alike will relate to this day in the life of an energetic child
Can you stretch like a cat or hang like a bat? This little one can do those things and so much more as she bounds energetically through her day. Author Jane Whittingham‘s sprightly couplets take her from the park to the pool, to dinner and bed, while Noel Tuazon cleverly illustrates the animal companions of a child’s imagination.[…]this picture book is perfect for sharing with wiggly, little wild ones of your own. And as the last pages are turned, the story’s final, sweet “goodnight” will leave the liveliest listeners ready to snuggle like a bear at bedtime.
The delightful watercolour illustrations draw the reader (or young child) into the story, and the action is enhanced by the simple rhyming couplets. The story is a celebration of childhood and all the uninhibited movement and excitement that being a young child brings. It depicts a joyous abandon as the child moves through their day, and compares the actions of the toddler to those of familiar animals. The simple, yet carefully crafted lines are rhythmic and just beg to be read aloud and acted out. The author has strategically utilized action verbs that are hallmarks of childhood “hanging”, “stretching”, “slipping”, “clapping”, etc. and will engage all children in a universal experience of childhood. The story follows a child through a typical active day and ends with the youngster having had supper, changed into pyjamas and snuggled into bed ready to fall asleep. The story is a walking advertisement for getting out into the outdoors, and could inspire upcoming activities for caregivers. I had a chuckle at the animal depicted for the walk home at the end of a busy day – what parent hasn’t experienced their child moving like a snail when they are reluctant to leave the fun behind!?! This book would help facilitate a powerful bonding time for parent/child and provide an opportunity for a positive relational experience before bed.
My three youngsters (aged 3, 3, & 4) really loved acting out the animals mentioned in this book. It is a great bedtime round-up book to start our process into settling down for sleep. They were eager to gather to act out and make the sounds of the animals and worked the last of their wiggles (and giggles!) out in preparation for our next (quieter) book before songs, prayers and lights out. The last animal depicted is a bear, snuggling in for the night, and at this point in the story I have the kids jump into bed and mimic the snuggling. In the weeks that we’ve had this new title, they have each asked for it to be read umpteen times – a sure sign of a fave book.
- simple rhyming couplets
- engaging illustrations that inspire movement
- transition from high action to quieter snuggling
- embracing nature
- dialogue is rhythmic, and would make an excellent read-aloud and participation book
- the words are fun to say: e.g. “Wild one, down the slide, slipping like an eel”
- encourages an active, outdoorsy lifestyle
Why/How Use it with kids:
- use as a transition-to-bedtime read (as a way of gathering kids in and getting the last of their wiggles out before settling down for the night).
- mimic the actions (act out) of the animals and/or the sounds that they would make
- create a story of their own (or add new animals to this one) in the form of simple rhymes and illustrations
- use the story as a spring board to describe and act out their day – include activities that they actually did
About the Author / Illustrator:
Jane Whittingham is a librarian from Burnaby, British Columbia, and earned her Masters of Library and Information Sciences at UBC with an emphasis on children’s librarianship and literature. Much like the adventurous main character in her first picture book, Wild One, Jane loves to explore. And every time she jet-sets across the globe, Jane takes pictures of all the cats who cross her path (from author page at Pajama Press).
Noel Tuazon was born in Manila, Philippines but has been living in Toronto, Ontario since the 1970’s. Noel studied Fine Arts and Art History at the University of Toronto and Animation at Max the Mutt. In 2005 Noel’s first children’s book, Sunny Bear’s Rainy Day by Caryn Tate, was published and his following project was the graphic novel Elk’s Run (2007) by Joshua Hale Fialkov. Since 2006, Noel has also worked on storyboard revisions at Nelvana Animation for TV shows such as Grossology, Babar And The New Adventures of Badou, and Ranger Rob (from illustrator page at Pajama Press).