Apr 24, 2012

by English Muse

How five crows managed to lift a twenty-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries.


And she took off after him…
Into the deep, dark, woods…

I have just finished reading Wildwood, a middle-grade fantasy adventure written by Colin Meloy (yes, he of The Decemberists fame) and gloriously illustrated by Carson Ellis. Have you seen this book yet? It is a journey into a dark and dangerous, yet beautiful and magical, forest.

Wildwood is a place that is at once both unfamiliar and familiar:

Where animals talk and but bureaucracy still stifles any real action.
Where both sides of a war believe they are the righteous party.
Where magic and wonder sit side by side with lies and even murder.
Where great evil grows inside immense grief, with a façade of stunning beauty.

Once inside Wildwood it is almost impossible to tell truth from lies or learn who to trust. The book’s 12-year-old heroine Prue and her friend Curtis each spend a good deal of time trying to decipher exactly this.

But for all the disorientation and danger in this wonderful story, it’s not a place I wanted to leave. I guess the clue is in the “wild” of the title. You can love a wild thing, but you cannot tame it. Adore it, but beware if you trust it. And woe betide if you turn your back on it!

Wouldn’t you agree?

Yours truly,
Naomi Bulger (delighted to be guest blogging on Tuesday nights while Tina is away)

ps. The second installment in the Wildwood Chronicles comes out later this year. I can’t wait!


This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 at 6:00 pm. It is filed under Books, illustrations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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21 Responses to “Journey into the wild”

  1. Luli says:

    You write the best guest posts!! These illustrations are magical. And you had me with the initial quote of the 20 pound baby.

  2. Naomi Bulger says:

    Thanks so much Luli. And yes, the idea of a 20 pound baby being carried away by crows got me in too!

  3. Karen says:

    That looks so beautiful! Has it been translated in any other languages that you know of?

  4. Hannah says:

    beautiful illustrations! I’d never heard of this before, but I definitely want to pick up a copy of it now!



  5. This book looks really interesting and right up my ally. I’m going to have to get it.

  6. I just started reading this book last night! Can’t wait to get further into it, and now I’m looking forward to the second installment as well. How can you not be intrigued by a title like Under Wildwood?

  7. michelle says:

    yes I read it and I loved it! They are such a talented couple. I met them both when they went on their book tour for Wildwood and they were so sweet in person.

  8. Beth says:

    I loved the book (and now I’m super excited about the next one!) I admit I bought the book for its cover, but was drawn into the story pretty quickly.

  9. Mariana says:

    This looks amazing! I hadn’t heard about it (sadly) but now am looking forward to picking it up at the bookstore. The illustrations are phenomenal.

  10. Naomi Bulger says:

    Hi Karen, I’ve had a quick look around the Internet and can’t tell if it’s been translated into any other languages or not. But this is the Facebook page, so you could probably ask them directly and see if it will be available in the language(s) you want: https://www.facebook.com/WildwoodChronicles. Let me know how you go!

  11. Naomi Bulger says:

    Let me know what you think Hannah. I confess, I was drawn in by the cover, the illustrations and the name (but the story won me over).

  12. Naomi Bulger says:

    Fantastic. Make sure you let me know what you think!

  13. Naomi Bulger says:

    I can’t wait for “Under Wildwood.” I was just on the FB page and they’re showing illustrations from this second book, still in progress. Let’s hope it will be ready soon!

  14. Naomi Bulger says:

    Oh lucky you to meet them on tour! And don’t you think it would be lovely to collaborate on something as magical and creative as this, with your partner? I don’t know, maybe they’d get sick of each other but I think I’d really like it.

  15. Naomi Bulger says:

    He he me too, Beth. I fell for the illustrations and the title, but thankfully the story didn’t disappoint.

  16. Naomi Bulger says:

    I hope you love it Mariana. Let me know what you think when you’ve read it.

  17. Katie says:

    I need to go looking for Wildwood! You said it was for middle grades and I wonder if my students would enjoy it in the future…hmmm…

  18. Amber says:

    This has been on my to-read list for a while. The artwork is just gorgeous!

  19. Naomi Bulger says:

    Ooh Katie I’d love to know if you read it with them. I don’t know enough about what’s suitable / appropriate reading for different ages, only that the book has been classified “middle grade.” It would be good do know what the kids thought of it, as I’ve only heard from other adults who’ve read it.

  20. Naomi Bulger says:

    The artwork makes me wish I could draw. It is amazing, I just love it. I hope you enjoy the book!

  21. Mary says:

    I’m reading this one right now and am enthralled – very different from my usual read, but I’m loving it.

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