Lore of the Wild: Folklore & Wisdom from Nature

Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions. Sept. 2021. 80p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780711260719.
Gr 4-5–Eclectic, entertaining tidbits of nostrums and superstitions vie for space with folklore. This compilation is organized by subjects like flora, fauna, weather, and omens, and each breaks out into more subdivisions. Strong readers may enjoy jumping from one brief note to another and be able to cope with a font that wobbles on the page, but younger readers and those with vision issues will lose focus and give up. Because most of the presentation is made up of brief splashes of text, when the author indicated that the color black was considered menacing in one of the blurbs, for example, the statement has insufficient explanation for young readers to understand. Sometimes the country’s or culture’s affiliation is noted, making for a lack of consistency, and a definite lack of documentation. There is strong entertainment here, especially when Cock-Starkey breaks for a tale in a two-page spread. This is when the text shines and the typographical idiosyncrasies are less intimidating. Adding to the fun are Aitch’s illustrations that pop on the page whether she used a black or white background. The illustrator’s and author’s styles complement one another. After matter consists of a too-brief glossary and an index.
VERDICT It’s cute and entertaining, but many children interested in folklore will have to strain their eyes and brains to read the font.

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