Run Wild

David Covell. Viking, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-670-01411-8
Some nature books focus on careful, quiet observation. Covell (the Rat and Roach books) knows that nature makes kids want to move. Bold, exuberant watercolor spreads burst with energy, and a handwritten font makes the text look as if it’s dashed off in chalk. A boy sits indoors when a girl with dark, curly hair sprints by his window. “Hey, you, Sky’s blue!/ (forget your shoes)/ Open that door and.../ Sprout, you’re out!” Now he’s outside, his bare feet pumping through dandelions, catching up. The boy runs hard; they scare up a rabbit, painted in a few strong strokes. Girl and boy emerge from the forest to the seashore; then, a thunderstorm breaks. Things can go wrong in the rain (and in life, Covell suggests): “There’ll be/ slippery slumps./ Bruises./ Bumps.../ and Rotten/ Stumps!” But with the girl’s encouragement (“Come on, then./ Let’s GO!”), the boy’s up and running again. Through powerful art and punchy text, Covell celebrates freedom, the out-of-doors, the joy of movement, and the importance of paying attention to the present moment. Ages 3–up. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Children's
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