Sunday 12 September 2010

Wild Stories

Wild Stories by Colin Thompson (Random House)

HB RRP $16.95
ISBN 978-1-8647-1826-3
Reviewed by Oliver Phommavanh

Wild Stories is an anthology of short stories for younger readers. Thompson might be known for his Floods series, but he’s written a few books about animals living around an old house. These books were only published in the UK, so readers will discover a new world of fun.

Thompson gives each animal a distinct human-like personality. There are hilarious interactions between different animals and objects, with influences of wry British humour. Crows reminiscing flat road kill could have been carved out of a Monty Python skit.

The descriptions will tickle readers’ senses. Thompson describes a male mosquito drinking pollen as strawberry jam, caramel pudding and black cherry ice cream all rolled into one. It’s one of many delightful lines in the book.

Thompson also manages to weave in some animal facts into his stories. For example, there’s a stubborn baby hedgehog that refuses to hibernate in Winter. Readers will learn why animals have to hibernate, laughing at the hedgehog’s attempts to stay awake. While most of the stories are quite funny, there are some touching ones here that show the circle of life in full effect.

Wild Stories is a wonderful collection that kids will enjoy reading and laughing out loud. It’s recommended for ages 8 and up.

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