Acorn Was a Little Wild by Jen Arena, illustrated by Jessica Gibson

Acorn Was a Little Wild by Jen Arena, illustrated by Jessica Gibson. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2022.  9781534483156

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review): 5

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book?  This is a delightful book that works as a story about growing up and as an informational introduction to how seeds become trees. An acorn growing on an oak tree has a zest for adventure and jumps off its tree.  The old Oak and other acorns warn him that there is danger and wildness and squirrels, but Acorn wants to ROLL!  And roll, he does.  Acorn revels in the sensations of being out in the world and does, of course, have a perilous encounter with a squirrel.  Jessica Gibson’s warm and action-packed illustrations are full of browns, red, greens, and motion!  The acorns and animals’ facial expressions add much to the storytelling.

This is a story that may also serve to soothe young children who wonder about adapting to changes as they grow up:  Acorn loves being freewheeling and wild, but also learns he loves being planted underground with the cool soil and wiggling worms, and finds ways to be a free spirit even after becoming a tately tree.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Nope.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a nice addition to any storytime about plants, growing things, and forests, and also storytimes about growing up and changing.  Suitable for any young children old enough to sit for a story.

Who should buy this book?  Elementary schools, public libraries, nature centers.

Where would you shelve it?  Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:  Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA

Date of review:  March 30, 2022

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