A worried mother primate follows her impetuous child through a jungle’s pitfalls and pleasures.
Comical, cartoonlike artwork combines with the rhythm and rhyme of an easy-listening text. Every phrase and every sentence begins with the word “wild,” which makes it giggly fun for little ones. The mother and her androgynous child have bright orange, furry bodies that resemble orangutans, but their faces are humanly expressive. In fact, the clear link between how the mother’s and child’s faces are rendered and what emotions they are feeling makes this a great pick for helping children develop their emotional intelligence. Bold lines and a pastel palette create an excellent rainforest background for the mother and baby as the child fearlessly clambers around limbs and vines and the mother tries to keep up. The child’s wild behavior affects other animals, including bats, elephants, a pangolin, and—uh-oh—a leopard. Careful viewers will notice that the baby had inadvertently swung from the leopard’s tail, and now the leopard is following the baby. At the climax, readers will certainly guess the rhyming word to follow this sequence: “Wild danger! Wild trap! / Wild teeth about to….” The clever resolution to the inevitable “SNAP” is followed by an unexpectedly delightful ending. The artwork’s thoughtful biodiversity adds a dimension beyond the theme of parent-and-child relationships.
Great for preschool libraries and for bedtime at home. (Picture book. 3-6)