Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy showed up on my radar through a footnote in another book that I read last year. (Just one more reminder that I am 100% a nerd especially in regards to children's literature.) Handy splits the chapters into different books considered 'classics' of children's literature and he explains why they've had a lasting effect and endured as long as they have. He makes an argument that there is a reason books become classics but there is also a clarity in realizing that a difference of opinion will most certainly occur. A good example is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I know this is a classic and it is still read by kids and parents now but I have never (and probably never will) consider this one a favorite. In that same vein, there were quite a few books that he mentioned that I had not heard of or had never read and I promptly added them to my TRL. (You may recognize some of the titles if you decide to read this book.) One of the best things about Wild Things was the organization of the chapters. It's quite obvious that Handy has not only done thorough research on the topic but has a real passion for the topic. This made it have an academic feel which I really appreciated. Interspersed throughout the book are personal anecdotes about the books he loved as a child as well as his experience introducing books to his children. (Get those tissues out, parents with small children. It's fairly sentimental.) I doubt this would be of as much interest to someone not in the field of children's literature but if you're looking for inspiration about what books to read to your kids at night then this would be an excellent source for you. 9/10
What's Up Next: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
What I'm Currently Reading: The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham (Coincidentally, I'm watching Midsomer Murders which is based off of the book series.)
Quirky characters and a rather zany storyline mark “Creature Keepers and the Hijacked Hydro-Hide”, the first book in the eponymous middle-grade series. Jordan Grimsley and his sister Abbie arrive in their late grandfather’s dilapidated house in the Florida Everglades during spring break because their father inherited it and intends to renovate it and turn it into a bed and breakfast. However, what they expect to be a boring two weeks turns into the adventure of a lifetime when Jordan discovers that cryptids—those legendary creatures sometimes sighted but nevertheless shrouded in mystery—are real. Not only that, but they need his help!
With somewhat immature humor and delightfully implausible situations, this story will doubtless appeal to upper elementary and middle school readers. Illustrations enhance the allure, and the characters range from funny to evil and from young to old. The predominant themes are friendship, loyalty, and perseverance, which undergird the madcap yet endearing plot. Overall, “The Hijacked Hydro-Hide” forms a fun and interesting basis for this series.
What a lovely children's book. I received this as a gift and voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 5* rating. Plenty of graphics to draw children's eyes but the story is told in a rhyming fashion that I loved. This story draws Santa into the birth of Jesus story. Can hardly wait to share this with my grandchildren.