Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Wild

Hughes, Emily (Author/Illustrator)
Nobrow Press 2013. 36 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781909263086 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

When a baby is found in the woods, the animals “take her in as their own.” She learns how to speak from the birds, to hunt from the bears and to play and wrestle from the foxes. All is well until some strange new animals show up. A psychiatrist and his wife take the feral child into their home. They clean her, dress her and try to teach her human language, but she does everything wrong. Finally, after destroying their house, she is returned to the wild where she lives happily, in harmony with her surroundings.

Lush, detailed, coloured-pencil illustrations depict nature in all its glorious detail: rushing rivers, flowers in bloom and leafy woodlands that fill the pages. The wild girl has huge eyes, fangs for teeth and hair that looks sprung from nature itself. Out of her context, she looks like a doll gone mad. She returns to her gloriously grinning, wild self when returned to the woods, prompting the reader to muse on the meaning of home, belonging and identity.

Text is minimal, with one line per double-page spread. Language highlights the illustrations that carry much of the meaning. “They did everything wrong” accompanies an image of the girl sulking miserably, sitting amid the trappings of civilization, as her hair is tied up and her skull measured.

Marvellous visual storytelling that celebrates the untamed, independent nature of childhood.

  •  What does it mean if something is wild? Give examples. Reflect on your definition as you read.
  •  As you read, describe what is happening in each detailed picture.
  •  

    Do you think the girl should have been raised by the psychologists or returned to the wild? Debate with a peer, citing reasons for your opinion.

  •  Write a monologue from the point of view of the girl, ten years in the future.
  •  

    As a group, define wild. Compare your definition to one from a dictionary. Are there multiple meanings? How are you wild?

  •  

    Considering the definitions, how is the girl wild? Compare her life in the forest and the city. How is her life wild and how is it tame?

  •  Discuss what you think should have been done to help the girl feel better. With a partner, rewrite parts of the story to show how you would have done it.
  •  

    Use teacher-selected sources to research examples of other feral children. How did they adapt to their new lives? Compare them with the girl in the book.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Physical Education and Health