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A Way with Wild Things

A Way with Wild Things

Published: 18 Mar 2021

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+ and 5+

By Larissa Theule

Illustrated by Sara Palacios

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

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Meet Poppy - if you can find her! Poppy loves bugs, and can usually be found carrying on conversations with ladybirds or sitting outside among the brightly coloured wildflowers ... but good luck spotting her indoors and around people! She's a master of camouflage, always finding a way to blend into her surroundings. But when a very special bug lands on her grandma's birthday cake, Poppy can't resist popping out to see it.


Soon the rest of the guests notice the beautiful dragonfly, and Poppy too. Maybe it's OK to stand out sometimes, just like the vibrant wildflowers and shimmering insects Poppy loves. This poetic and evocative story celebrates the shy and introverted kids among us, as well as the other small creatures to be found if we look closely enough.

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Reviewed by Aimee Durning

A Way With Wild Things by Larissa Theule  and Sara Palacios  is a beautiful picturebook that introduces us to a young girl who enjoys being outdoors. Poppy Ann Fields likes nature and nature likes Poppy Ann. Immersed in the study of spiders, cicadas, ants, ladybugs and many other species,  Poppy Ann feels happy and content. The opposite can be said for social gatherings involving human beings. Whenever there are large social celebrations Poppy attempts to blend into the background, hoping to not be noticed by anyone.

Until one day when Uncle Dan spots her at her Grandma’s birthday party. Where Poppy is drawn out from her hiding spot by a beautiful dragonfly. Poppy is an introvert, happy with her own company, different from the others. This was the last thing that she wanted, to be the centre of attention!

Fight or flight? Which one would Poppy choose? Would she stay and wow her extended family with her extensive knowledge of insects?

A Way With Wild Things is a lovely book that celebrates difference, the special qualities and knowledge that children possess. Uncle Dan uses the expression ‘Wallflower’, within every class there may be two children who appear to be ‘Wallflowers’, their time to shine will come. Every child has a wealth of knowledge which they are patiently waiting to share with their class.

This book is perfect for primary libraries and classrooms that maybe studying individualism or ecology.

Aimee works at the University of Cambridge Primary School as the Lead Learning Coach (TA) and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. She loves reading and sharing her passion for children’s literature with everyone she meets. Another passion of Aimee’s is educational success for all children and she endeavours to assist children to reach their full potential.