Just steps from the subway stop, a single leaf leads two children on an adventure into the wild—both far away and tucked into their own backyard. Readers—particularly those who love bustling cities but harbor a secret admiration for ditch dandelions and resolute climbing ivy—will find their attention captured from the first beckoning willow branches in Finding Wild.
Megan Wagner Lloyd makes an imagery-filled entrance into the publishing scene as she taps into the collective nostalgia we humans share: the desire to climb mountains and dive into clear lakes, the urge to take shelter from thunder. Lloyd’s bold, imaginative words and alliteration collide in an invitation to feel, smell and taste.
Abigail Halpin’s illustrations are distinctive and energetic, transporting us into the beauty—and danger—of nature. Pages unfurl with shades of green, and a jam-packed cityscape bursts with rushing color. A scrapbook-type collage taunts with bees and scorpions, sticker plants and stingers. Little eyes will keep busy finding tucked-away birds and branch-disguised snakes. The initial leaf makes periodic appearances, lending a sense of continuity and flow, even while the children journey through a variety of landscapes.
An enchanting storytime book, Finding Wild is also a delightful gift for anyone with an affinity for determined city blossoms and wide, green spaces. It would also be a delightful addition to any curriculum on descriptive writing.
Finding Wild reminds us that wild beauty persists in the busiest of cities, even in our bustling urban lives.