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WILD CHILD by Lynn Plourde


by Lynn Plourde

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-689-81552-2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The change of seasons from fall to winter makes a captivating bedtime story as Mother Nature tries to tuck in her wild child, Autumn. This child will do anything to stay up; when she complains that she needs a song, her mother provides one that includes acorns splattering, leaves crinkling, and birds twittering. Next the child needs a treat, and after she has munched on a bounty of cranberries, nuts, and pumpkins, she has to change into her pajamas. These nightclothes are the flame colors of autumn leaves with orange slippers to match. Before she can really fall asleep, the child demands a goodnight kiss. This “frosty kiss” is necessarily cold and frozen, foreshadowing the next season, but to readers, the effect of such a somber kiss from mother to child is chilling, or at least less than comforting. Finally the child yawns and curls up to sleep, but the mother will not be resting, for another child, Winter, arrives and “can’t sleep.” Couch’s absorbing illustrations match the allegorical aspect of the poetic text, and both transport readers with images of unusual clarity and depth. (Picture book. 3-7)