cover image Finding Wild

Finding Wild

Megan Wagner Lloyd, illus. by Abigail Halpin. Knopf, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-101-93281-0

Lloyd’s sparkling debut celebrates nature through a whimsical meditation on the idea of wildness. After entering a verdant city park, a boy and girl become immersed in the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of their surroundings, which spring to life in Halpin’s (Bella’s Rules) lush and delicately detailed mixed-media pictures. Dominated by muted greens and blues, the illustrations pull readers into the diverse landscapes the children traverse as Lloyd’s punchy text highlights nature’s expansiveness: snakes and a spider lurk overhead as “Wild creeps and crawls and slithers,” while a seaside jaunt brings comfort and joy (“But wild can also soothe: gentle breeze, cheering sun, soft rain”). A brief interlude returns the kids to the dense city, where buildings are “so high, they hide the sky,” but a blowing leaf leads them back to the wild once again. A spirit of adventure and exploration runs throughout the book, the absence of parents or other adults tempting readers to discover the wild in their own environments. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (May)