Illustrations © Greg Couch

Wild Child

by Lynn Plourde Illustrated by Greg Couch Simon & Schuster, 1999

"Time for bed," Mother Earth said.
"Not for a while," said her wild child.
"A song, first.
I need a song
to play in my head
before going to bed
"So Mother Earth
gave her child a song…
Crinkle, crackle,
leaves snapple.
Chutter, chatter,
chipmunks patter.
Flap, flitter,
birds twitter,
Skitter, scatter,
acorns splatter.
And such was the song,
to play in her head.

Will Mother Earth’s wild child ever go to bed? She needs a song, a bedtime snack, her PJs, and then one more thing. What is that final request? And, oh no, after getting her wild child to sleep, Mother Earth is not able to get any sleep herself—look who’s up!

Honors

American Booksellers Kids Pick of the Lists, 1999

Lupine Honor Award from Maine Library Association, 1999

Michigan Reader’s Choice Award Nominee, 2001

Growing Kids Classic Book by Junior Master Gardener Program & American Horticultural Society, 2005

Reviews

"The combination of Plourde's lyrical verse and Couch's vibrant and ethereal illustrations make this a must for any fall reading list."
American Booksellers Association Kids Pick of the Lists

"The change of seasons from fall to winter makes a captivating bedtime story as Mother Nature tries to tuck in her wild child, Autumn. Couch's absorbing illustrations match the allegorical aspect of the poetic text, and both transport readers with images of unusual clarity and depth."
Kirkus

"The swirling text, which uses rhyme, alliteration, repetition, and made-up words ("Puckery, smuckery, crimsony cranberries"), rarely hits a false note."
Horn Book

"Plourde's inventive rhythm and rhyme keep step with the activity in the forests and fields. Both storytime audiences and individual readers will delight in detecting the changing form and palette used to depict Mother Earth . . . Pair this with Chris Van Allsburg's The Stranger (Houghton, 1986) for a program presenting intriguing fall personalities. Wild Child will go "a-swooshing" and "a-swirling" off of your shelves."
School Library Journal

"A lovely, well-told story."
Children's Literature

"A picture book that's a breath of fresh air . . . utterly unique in both illustrations and text."
Chinaberry

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