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Lore of the Wild: Folklore and Wisdom from Nature

See nature in a whole new light with this enchantingly illustrated treasury of natural folklore and wild wisdom from around the world.

Did you know that people used to believe that rabbits’ ears would twitch in the direction of a thunderstorm? That lily of the valley flowers were formed from fairies’ drinking cups? And that taking dandelions into the house would make you wet the bed?

Traditional nature folklore can help us understand how our ancestors interacted with the world around them and allows us to view nature from a new perspective. Stunningly delicate and magical illustrations capture the magic and strangeness inherent in natural folklore, and cultures from around the world are represented in this comprehensive compendium.

In this book, discover the lore of:

  • An array of different animals, birds and insects
  • All types of flowers, plants and trees
  • The weather, sun, moon and stars
  • Good and bad omens, and lucky charms

Lore of the Wild inspires appreciation of different cultures, as well as an engagement with the beauty of the natural environment, and is a treasure trove of superstitions, ancient wisdom, and enchanting folktales.

  • Hardcover
  • 80 pages
  • Ages 6-12


This delightfully discursive look at nature-themed folk wisdom is divided into six sections—“Animals,” “Birds,” “Bugs,” “Flowers, Plants, and Trees,” “Weather Lore,” and “Omens.” Each section kicks off with a short traditional folktale (mostly European, though one comes from China and another represents the Twana of the Pacific Northwest). Assorted fragments of lore, grouped by creature or topic into subthemes (“Magpies, Ravens, and Crows,” “Seabirds,” “Birds of Prey”) are then presented on richly illustrated spreads. Their decontextualized presentation can sometimes puzzle: “In Korea magpies are seen as bringers of good news and happiness. They are also celebrated in France because their chattering warns villagers of approaching wolves.” Are wolves still an issue in modern French villages? Still, the overall winsome mood is augmented by Aitch’s whimsical, vibrantly hued illustrations. Painterly and patterned, they are studded with moons and stars, flowers and smiling suns. Ages 6–12.

Publishers Weekly


Eclectic, entertaining tidbits of nostrums and superstitions vie for space with folklore. This compilation is organized by subjects like flora, fauna, weather, and omens, and each breaks out into more subdivisions. Strong readers may enjoy jumping from one brief note to another and be able to cope with a font that wobbles on the page, but younger readers and those with vision issues will lose focus and give up. Because most of the presentation is made up of brief splashes of text, when the author indicated that the color black was considered menacing in one of the blurbs, for example, the statement has insufficient explanation for young readers to understand. Sometimes the country's or culture's affiliation is noted, making for a lack of consistency, and a definite lack of documentation. There is strong entertainment here, especially when Cock-Starkey breaks for a tale in a two-page spread. This is when the text shines and the typographical idiosyncrasies are less intimidating. Adding to the fun are Aitch's illustrations that pop on the page whether she used a black or white background. The illustrator's and author's styles complement one another. After matter consists of a too-brief glossary and an index. VERDICT It's cute and entertaining, but many children interested in folklore will have to strain their eyes and brains to read the font.—Nancy Call, formerly at Santa Cruz P.L., Aptos, CA

School Library Journal

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