I have spent the last couple of weeks on practicum in a primary school. One of our tasks was to observe children’s behaviour in the playground at lunchtime and write about what we saw. I would love my answer to this question to be a copy of Wild!
A little girl grows up in the forest where she is taught to eat by bears, to speak by birds and to play by foxes. This lovely existence is interrupted the day she is discovered by hunters and taken to live in the city. Clever details like a newspaper headline, “Famed psychiatrist takes in feral child” provide extra context to an older audience.
In a sort of rabid version of My Fair Lady, the adults try unsuccessfully to retrain this free spirit. Her escape back to the forest, with the family cat and dog in tow is magnificent. “Everyone remembered how she left, and all knew it was right.”
This is an amazing story with wonderful illustrations. It could work equally well with a younger and older audience and would pair neatly with Mr Tiger goes wild.
Check out Wild at Auckland Libraries.
Or buy Wild from Fishpond.