|cover art for WILD CHILD, written & illustrated by Steven Salerno|
(Abrams Books for Young Readers, August 2015)
written & illustrated by Steven Salerno
Abrams Books for Young Readers, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1662-1
release date: Aug. 4, 2015/ available now online at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon
picture book review (May 25, 2015)
“The jungle can be a scary place,” begins Salerno, and his battle royale of an opening scene proves it, as an elephant and rhino point sharp tusks at each other, a gorilla swats at a vulture, snakes and leopards hiss, and a lion and crocodile leap into the fray. But the arrival of a “wild child” who is “Constantly grabbing, pinching, and pooping!” and “Forever pulling, kicking, and crying!” has these kings and queens of the jungle desperate to soothe the ill-tempered babe. Working in mixed-media, Salerno uses slashes of black crayon to outline his characters—it’s perhaps the perfect medium for conveying unadulterated rage, either human or animal. With fierce frowning eyebrows, a scribble of hair, and not a stitch of clothing, the wild child looks like a feral cousin to the star of Salerno’s Harry Hungry!; the animals’ attempts to sooth the child with bugs (the anteater) or roaring (the lion) only fuel its anger. Forceful writing and the improbable gracefulness Salerno bestows on this kicking, biting, punching machine make this a furiously fun read.
Ages 4–8. (Abrams Books, Aug. 2015)
Visit stevensalerno.com to view my illustration portfolios, as well as my many picture books for children.