Sunday 18 February 2024

Ultrawild: An Audacious Plan to Rewild Every City on Earth

Ultrawild: An Audacious Plan to Rewild Every City on Earth by Steve Mushin (Allen & Unwin) HB RRP $34.99 ISBN 9781760292812

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

How can we save the planet? This is a question on the minds of many, as we stare down the potentially catastrophic consequences of greenhouse gases and environmental destruction. That said, not many would have come up with the kind of answers offered by Steve Mushin in Ultrawild. 

From poo cannons to giant walking animatronic megafauna composters, this colourful large format hardback is an ultra-wild glimpse into the powerful industrial design imagination of the author. What it isn’t, is particularly realistic - as the author acknowledges in the afterword.

But pragmatism isn’t the point. The book’s clear aim is to engage and excite a younger generation in thinking about the out-of-the-box solutions we may very well need to tackle climate change. And crazy contraptions, animals and poo are pretty good tools to get kids’ attention.

Presented in graphic strip format, most spreads are utterly packed with text bubbles tracking in every direction, detailed diagrams, and coloured drawings - to the point where it gets a bit overwhelming. It is possible to dip in and out of pages and still follow the thrust of the text, but the occasional full-spread illustrations in the pastel tones used throughout are a welcome relief.

A book to keep curious 10- to 14-year-old minds busy for hours, this would make a great gift or classroom tool. Just don’t try anything at home, kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.