Sunday, March 19, 2017

Come Be Wild With Me, by Kristen Maxwell, illustrated by Kevin Sabino

I spend way too much of my life indoors, and appreciate any call to get outside more.  In Kristen Maxwell's Come Be Wild With Me, she issues a call of the wild.  "Do this.  Do that.  Plug in.  Plug out.  That's not what life is all about!  Instead, let's get away, even if, just for a day."  Go deep into the woods, live off the land, commune with nature, commune with the animals.  In general, I love the message.

Kevin Sabino's illustrations add a unique look to the book.  They are a sort of gray scale watercolor with highlights in neon colors.  They look cool, but they are so far from the colors of nature that they look really unnatural.  (OK, some of them look like wildflowers, but the whole look is not natural looking.)

The main reason I don't particularly like this book is the fact that it is completely unrealistic.  Don't pack, and trade your clothes for leaves?  Don't worry about food, just eat berries and drink from a stream?  Dance with the animals?  Soar with the butterflies?  I love the call to get away from modern amenities and unwind in nature, but Maxwell and Sabino's vision is more silly and idealistic than practical and doable.

So, go be wild, but unlike what Maxwell offers, you should be prepared.  Be sure you bring water or a means of water purification.  Bring some food, and if you're going to eat wild berries be sure you have a knowledgeable guide or a good reference so you don't eat berries that will make you sick.  Be kind and respectful to the animals, but, for the most part, don't expect them to be your buddies (especially large mammals).  Remember the sun will be your blanket and the breeze will be your A/C, but be prepared for temperate extremes; I don't want you to get hypothermia.  And if you're going to shed your clothes, wear sunscreen.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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