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THE WILD by Yuval Zommer


by Yuval Zommer ; illustrated by Yuval Zommer

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 2024
ISBN: 9780593708989
Publisher: Doubleday

Hope for the future flows through this environmentalist story.

In the beginning there was “the Wild,” and it was good. Pictured here as a large, anthropomorphized, dragonlike creature upon which all the land-based world resides, the Wild welcomes all living things, “from the shallow shore to the deep ocean.” It gives all beings what they need, even the humans who eventually appear. Unfortunately, in time the humans take more than they need, justifying their greed by saying, “The Wild is so huge and giving that there will always be enough for us.” As people plow and mine, burn and dump, smoke fills the air, garbage litters the ground, and the Wild looks stunned and weakened. Still, one light-skinned boy notices the Wild’s suffering and speaks out, warning that they are hurting it. He’s joined by other, racially diverse people, and in time the Wild recovers. This time, however, “nobody took without giving something back.” Out of seeming necessity, the story simplifies situations down to their most essential parts, leaving little room for nuance. Languid and lovely art is filled with tiny natural details. Meanwhile, an understated text in which no one seriously objects to the fight for the environment makes this a rather low-key call to action.

A sweetly told tale but ultimately a toothless one.

(Picture book. 3-6)