My Wild Family is yet another extraordinary picture book in translation, this time brought to us by Chronicle Books, another fine importer of foreign children's books. Laurent Moreau, an author, illustrator, artist and graphic designer has a background in print making that is evident in his bold lines and limited color palette. With My Wild Family, Moreau takes readers on a tour through the narrator's family album that is also a bit like a walk through the zoo.
She begins by telling us, "I have a very special family." Her older brother is "strong and respected. (Just don't upset him.)" By listing only the qualities of the animal/family member and never mentioning the actual animal by name, Moreau turns My Wild Family into a fun guessing game for younger readers as well. Our narrator ends the book with these words, and a delightful illustration of herself, "My family is truly special. And me . . . well, you might say I'm unique too. And you? What makes YOU special?"
In My Wild Family, the animals are not anthropomorphized, despite being plunked down into a very human environment in every illustration. My Wild Family is marvelously oversized, giving readers every opportunity to scour the pages for details, from the many patterns displayed on each page to the little asides, like a child sneaking a bit of her dinner to the dog to the games being played on the school playground. And, being such a bold and big book, My Wild Family is perfect for reading to a crowd!
My Wild Family is a gorgeous and fun book you are sure to read over and over. I hope that more of Laurent Moreau's books are headed our way!
Source: Review Copy