Join brilliant young naturalist Dara McAnulty – winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for his book Diary of a Young Naturalist – on a nature walk and experience the joy of connecting with the natural world on your multi-sensory journey.
This beautiful gift book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls, is divided into five sections: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank. Dara pauses to tell you about each habitat and provides fantastic facts about the native birds, animals and plants you will find there – including wrens, blackbirds, butterflies, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, hen harriers, otters, dandelions, oak trees and many more.
Each section contains a discovery section where you will have a closer look at natural phenomena such as metamorphoses and migration, learn about categorization in the animal kingdom or become an expert on the collective nouns for birds. Each section finishes with an activity to do when you get home: plant wildflowers, make a bird feeder, try pond dipping, make a journey stick and build a terrarium. Dara ends Wild Child with advice for young conservationists.
Dara McAnulty is a naturalist, conservationist and activist from Northern Ireland. He's received many awards for his conservation work, including from BBC Springwatch, The Daily Mirror and Birdwatch magazine. He's written and presented numerous natural history programmes for BBC radio and television, and become an ambassador for the RSPCA, the iWill campaign and the Jane Goodall Institute. Dara is the youngest ever recipient of the RSPB medal for conservation. He lives with his family and Rosie the rescue-greyhound at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down. His first book Diary of a Young Naturalist won the 2020 Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing.
Barry Falls grew up in rural Northern Ireland, where he spent a lot of time drawing pictures and writing stories to go with them. When he got to art college in Belfast, he discovered that he might be able to do such a thing for a living, and was very excited. Since then, he's been working as a commercial illustrator, and picking up multiple awards for the work he does for such clients as The New York Times, American Airlines, The Telegraph, Laurence King Publishing and many more besides. His work has appeared in magazines, books, exhibitions, on textiles and homeware, and in advertising campaigns around the world. His first book, It's Your World Now! was published in 2019.
"From the prize-winning young naturalist, this is a dreamy dive into the natural world to thrill wildlife fans of six-plus."
– Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian
"Dara speaks very directly to child readers, taking them on a personal journey, introducing them to facts and phenomena that fascinate him and encouraging exploration. His love of lore and language as well as his respect for nature shine through in the poetic text which is carefully integrated with the illustrations."
– Ann Lazim, Books for Keeps
"If you were a fan of the much-lauded Diary of a Young Naturalist the good news is that the follow up is imminent. Wild Child acts as a 'multi sensory journey' as we take a nature walk with the teen naturalist. Split into five sections – looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank – we learn more about each habitat from McAnulty's perspective. Each section also ends with an 'activity' for the reader to experiment with, bringing an interactive element to proceedings. Sounds ideal for the long summer days ahead."