Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Wild Ideas

Publish May 27, 2015

In Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking, Californian professor and science consultant, Elin Kelsey, posits problems are not obstacles to be feared, but rather, are marvellous opportunities for innovation. In a friendly, conversational tone, this informational picture book showcases creative problem solving skills from the animal kingdom. For example, thirsty chimpanzees make improvised spoons fashioned out of folded leaves to drink water. Channelling the powers of observation, squirrels learn how to safely cross the road by watching people. Humpback whales collaboratively and cooperatively blow a net of bubbles to trap fish.  The animals experiment, and sometimes fail, but continue to persevere in their quest to find solutions. In similar fashion, readers are encouraged to follow their curiosity and take a brave, enthusiastic leap into the unknown. Award-winning, Toronto artist Soyeon Kim’s three-dimensional dioramas use a wide variety of materials, colours and textures to vividly bring the images of nature to life. The lush scenes are full of surprising details, from an elephant balancing a fruit-picking child on the end of its trunk, to a dog climbing to the moon on an intricate ladder of leaves. An endnote nicely grounds the “wild ideas” of the text and artwork by providing further information about the scientific methods discussed. After exploring this contemplative, inspirational book, readers will be up for any challenge.

Wild Ideas

Elin Kelsey
Illustration EN: Soyeon Kim
OwlKids Books
ISBN 13: 978-1-77147-092-9

Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and QuireSchool Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.

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