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HALFWAY WILD by Laura Freudig


by Laura Freudig & illustrated by Kevin Barry

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-934031-48-3
Publisher: Islandport Press

As they move through their day, a busy family changes skin, fur, and feathers.

Buzzing and tumbling out of bed, they are a family of bumblebees, the boy in the bottom bunk sporting delicate wings, while his sister in the top is almost wholly bee—pajama top and bottom are visible, but just barely, beneath a fuzzy bee body, and she has antennae and wings. By the turn of the page, the siblings have morphed into moose, the brother’s antlers helping his sister in her climb to reach the sugary cereal. Some of Freudig’s metaphors work better than others, and similarly, some of Barry’s detailed, realistic illustrations include more animal parts, other less: “When our socks sag and our pants are wrinkled, we’re a family of TURTLES,” shows the two sleepy, sluggish children getting dressed, the girl upside down in her turtle shell, but when they eat spicy food and cool the fire with water, they (inexplicably) sport the heads of foxes. Other transformations include puffins, squirrels, ducks, ants, sea gulls, seals, field mice, fireflies, skunks, raccoons, and bears. The mother, father, and grandmother sometimes get into the act, as well, the grandmother delighted to join in the puddle-stomping of her duck grandchildren, all three with white wings and orange webbed feet. Dad’s white with curly red hair, while mom looks East Asian.

Good both for classroom explorations of metaphors and for inspiring imaginative play.

(Picture book. 3-7)