#365PictureBooks Day 28 – Wild by Emily Hughes

“You cannot tame something so happily wild…”

In this beautiful picture book by Hawaiian artist Emily Hughes we meet a little girl who has known nothing but nature from birth – she was taught to talk by birds, to eat by bears and to play by foxes – she is unashamedly, irrefutably, irrepressibly wild. That is, until she is snared by some very strange animals that look oddly like her, but they don’t talk right, eat right, or play correctly. She’s puzzled by their behaviour and their insistence to live in these strange concrete structures known as ‘apartments’. There’s no green here, no animals, no trees, no rivers.

Now she lives in the comfort of civilisation. But will civilisation get comfortable with her?” Publisher: Flying Eye Books

This is beautiful – one of those picture books where you and your favourite small person will spend hours looking at the details in the illustrations.

Lovely story of a “feral child” who lives a wild but innocent life in a beautiful forest with animals she loves and who love and care for her. Strange two-legged animals arrive in the forest and take her to civilisation where they try and change her and make her conform to societal norms regarding dress and behaviour, without regard for her nature and happiness. She returns to the forest with the unhappy dog and cat from the same household.

This book is in a ton of ‘best of lists’ and deservedly so.

Please see this gorgeous post from Brain Pickings which shows the illustrations beautifully.

Take a look at the author website – Emily Hughes has produced some beautiful work for other books and authors.

I think we might need a few more Flying Eye books in our collection….

The story reminded me the book “Wild Child” by Jeanne Willis as both are the story of a wild girl child – but they are totally different in terms of story and style of production. It might be interesting to compare the two with older students looking at picture books as a format as some of our students do in Year 10 for design studies.

Bibliographic details:

Wild / Written and illustrated by Emily Hughes

Published by Flying Eye Books, 2013.

32 pages.


NZ RRP$33.50

I borrowed this copy from Auckland Libraries





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