Format:Hardback, 32 pages
This is a seemingly simple story of the passage of time for one young boy who meets the ‘wild one’ as a child. Yet there is much more than the thread of the cycle of life to this book.
Charlie and the Wild One spend many happy hours together doing exactly the kinds of things little boys love to do – catching tadpoles, climbing trees and generally exploring nature. But as Charlie grows older, goes to school and eventually becomes a doctor, a father and a grandfather, the Wild One stays forever a boy and is almost forgotten by the adult Charlie. Until that is, Charlie sees the world around him afresh through the eyes of his granddaughter.
By examining the illustrations carefully, readers will glean much about this pair and through discussion, will realise that there is a much deeper understanding to be had than the mere surface plot. There is a real richness to Maciullo’s illustrations with many connections to the text within and the underlying implications for us all. The tiny details such as Latin names for flora, hidden objects and intertextual references bear close scrutiny.
The beautiful panoramic endpapers, with their serene landscape and the metaphorical river of life, are just wonderful.
Not a book for a ‘quick read’, be prepared for lengthy exploration and conversation about this one from this highly acclaimed creative pair.
Find teaching notes here at the Penguin website.
Recommended highly for shared reading in particular, with children from around Year 2 upwards.