Sunday, 27 March 2016

Monthly Read: The Wildwood Chronicles

As promised, here comes the second most voted series from the survey I did back in January. Truth be told, yes, I almost forgot about this one—and that's how it got to the very last days of the month to make its appearance. Hopefully, this is everything you expect it to be—and more. For the first recommendation, I thought I'd go with the month's (accidental) theme: the environment. You will most likely have heard of this series—yes, it's a series—but I'd recommend them to you anyway. If you've read it, please leave a comment below and we can start a discussion—spoiler-free, please.

Wildwood. Under Wildwood and Wildwood Imperium are written by Colin Meloy—the frontman of The Decemberists—and illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis. It tells the story, first, of a girl named Prue and her brother, who got kidnapped—or stolen?—by a murder of crows and brought to the Impassable Wilderness—also known as Wildwood. She went to search for him, obviously, but not without the company of Curtis who followed her into the woods. Everything started unraveling, welcoming us into the Wildwood world and capture our hearts in the most intriguing way, filled with adventures, friendship and—most importantly—magic.

The most notable characteristic of these books is the beautiful correlation between the story and the illustration. It was almost as if they were both created by the same person—then again, I reckon they know each other very well. The aesthetics of both the illustration style and the use of words really capture the moment and the emotion between each scene. The story itself is so refreshing with dominant female characters—both in the protagonist and antagonist—and the not-so-black-and-white plot. It feels more real than any of its young adult predecessors. It also teaches children and teenagers that killing someone isn't an easy feat and should not be taken lightly—as it just seems to be the case when they watch superhero movies or other such things.

Oh yes, where is the environment in all this, you ask? Well, Wildwood teaches us to love our nature. It also depicts the growing industry which spews pollution and boosts capitalism with its impacts on the environment. It touches on sensitive subjects, such as global warming, child labour and the sweatshop industry in such an implicit way that is suitable for children. Not only will this offer your children youthful adventures, they will also learn to analyse the relationships we humans have with mother nature. Hopefully, this will encourage them to be more earth-friendly.

Please leave a comment down below if you've read the book and let's start a discussion!

Fanart I made for the series. Yes, it's THAT good!

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