Wild by Emily Hughes

It’s hard to put into words exactly how terrific this picture book by Emily Hughes is and why. Perhaps it has to do with the beautifully rendered illustrations and the way they depict the cosiness and warmth of the forest, and how it embraces the little girl as one of its own. Or perhaps it has to do with how it speaks to the deep-seated longing that everyone has, to be if not exactly wild then certainly FREE — free to be yourself, to do what you really want to do in life.

20150107-152000.jpg Reminiscent of a much cuter and characterful Tarzan, and a more feral and likeable Merida from Disney’s Brave, the little unnamed protagonist in this book is a true wild child who is happiest when she is with her forest family, and there’s something admirable about how sure she is about who she is and what makes her happy.

20150107-152030.jpg It’s also a timely reminder that square pegs are just not made to fit into round holes — and everyone will be happier when they realise that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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