By Emily Hughes
"You cannot tame something so happily wild."
In this beautiful picture book by Hawaiian artist Emily Hughes, we meet a little girl who has known nothing but nature from birth—she was taught to talk by birds, to eat by bears, and to play by foxes. She is unashamedly, irrefutably, irrepressibly wild. That is, until she is snared by some very strange animals that look oddly like her, but they don't talk right, eat right, or play correctly. She's puzzled by their behavior and their insistence on living in these strange concrete structures: there's no green here, no animals, no trees, no rivers. Now she lives in the comfort of civilization. But will civilization get comfortable with her?
In her debut picture book, Hughes brings an uncanny humor to her painterly illustrations. Her work is awash with color, atmosphere, and a stunning visual splendor that will enchant children while indulging their wilder tendencies. Wild is a twenty-first-century answer to Maurice Sendak's children's classic—it has the same inventiveness, groundbreaking art, and unmissable quirkiness.
Emily Hughes is a talented young illustrator. Her book Nana Shaped Like a Banana won second prize in the 2012 Macmillan Children's Book Awards.