Walk on the Wild Side by Nicholas Oldland
Kids Can Press
Rating: 5 stars
This book had me from its opening page: "There once was a bear, a moose, and a beaver who loved adventure. But sometimes their competitive natures got in the way of having fun."
Anyone who knows me understands why this might speak to me... I might be a teensy-weensy bit competitive. Just a tad. Every now and then.
Here is the story of these three wild friends:
They decide to go for a hike. During a snack break a few pages into the book--a few miles into their hike, they discuss ways to make their adventure a little more interesting. The beaver thought it'd be exciting to make the hike into a race!
So off they go. (The illustration of them running, each on two feet, is my all-time favorite.) Because of his long legs, the moose takes the lead. But a boulder suddenly drops down in front of him. To avoid getting squashed, the moose had to jump over the side of the mountain. (Oh, no!)
The beaver huffs and puffs up. He doesn't see the moose so he thinks he's fallen behind. He picks up his pace, unknowingly passing his fallen friend.
Luckily, the bear hears the moose and tries to rescue him. Unfortunately, his rescue attempt fails and moose ends up grabbing his paw and saving him. Their cries for help echo up the mountain, and the beaver turns around when he hears them. The beaver's instincts kick in and he chews down a tree, chews several notches in it, and lowers down the simple ladder. Relieved to not be dangling over the side of the mountain anymore, the beaver's friends breathe deeply.
They decide they've had enough racing for a day, and hike along together, exploring little and big things--together.
I have to admit I'm a little annoyed with myself that I've not seen these books before--this is the fourth book with this wild trio by Nicholas Oldland. I've ordered them all from our local library, but really I would love a print of these guys--I love their silly expressions, the western backdrop, their simple adventures.
(Oh, and by the way, this author also has a cool clothing store company--he started this picture book venture by first making kids' pajamas then thought, "Hmm...wouldn't it be cool to write a book for kids to read while they wore these pajamas?!" Check his company, Hatley, out HERE.)