Though the original idea was simply to create an alphabet reader for the 4 to 8 age group, illustrator David McLimans who is himself no stranger to illustration at all, much less that of picture books, definitely went above and beyond the call of duty with Gone Wild . Subtitled “An Endangered Animal Alphabet”, this Caldecott Honor Book Award recipient (a very high achievement for childrens books) introduces the alphabet while simultaneously teaching young readers about endangered animals.
Twenty six letters and 26 distinct & individual endangered species to learn, but with these beautifully illustrated black and white art renderings kids of all ages will enjoy Gone Wild. If the black-and-white imagery wasn’t enough, McLimans has also included smaller stylized renderings of each animal as well as a box that contains all sorts of information for kids to think about from their habitat to what it is that endangers its survival.
One of the most thoughtful aspects of this book is at the end where illustrator David McLimans has seen fit to include a paragraph about each of the animals as well as a list of web sites and organizations that work to protect and to save these precious endangered species. If your child is an animal lover, Gone Wild should be on their reading list. With endangered animals becoming letters and letters becoming animals, awe inspired children of all ages will find something beautiful and wonderful in the witty and creative world of David McLiman’s beautiful book.