Reviews /

Wild Book Day

Authored by Karl Newson
Illustrated by James Brown
Published by Owlet Press

Be warned… in an obvious pun on World Book Day, the books have escaped and are running wild; ‘Their pages turn over, Their pictures escape! Today is the day the books go ape!’ So begins this joyful celebration of the wonder and creativity that can be found within the pages of a book.

Imagine what would happen if books actually physically spilled their contents. Dragons, pirates and fairy tale characters would be released and intermingle. Oceans would, ‘flood out from the book’s illustrations’ and you might even be able to climb a giant beanstalk. The message is clear; books open doors for us and encourage our imaginations to run wild. But then at the end of the day in order for the world to be set right again, every character would need to be put back, the books closed tight and placed back on the shelf.

The illustrations in this rhyming story are packed with familiar characters and without doubt young children will enjoy spotting their favourites. If ‘books are adventures for you to explore,’ there is certainly plenty to keep youngsters engaged here. The text is a pleasing rhyme perfect for reading aloud, although for the book to be enjoyed in its fullest, a closer inspection of the illustrations is key.

The obvious day to share this book would be around World Book Day, particularly if your school is encouraging children to dress up as the final triumphant double spread shows just that. In the classroom Wild Book Day might inspire children to create alternative illustrations or to consider what their favourite character might do if it were to escape from the pages of a book. Alternatively, in keeping with the book’s message; books are there to be shared and enjoyed and maybe that’s enough sometimes.