Review: Wildful

Cover of the book Wildful by Kengo Kurimoto.

Review: Wildful

Cover of the book Wildful by Kengo Kurimoto.Wildful

Written and illustrated by Kengo Kurimoto

Groundwood Books, 2024

ISBN: 9781773068626 (hardcover)
$22.99  CAD
216 pages

Ages: 9 years old and up

Review by Elisabeth de Grandpré

In this detailed greyscale comic, we follow Poppy as she is grieving her Gran and trying to connect with her mother, who is grieving by disconnecting, lying on the couch. Poppy stumbles into a forest chasing her dog Pepper through a hole in the fence. In the wild overgrown forest, she befriends a boy named Rob. The dialogue is sparse, yet meaningful. The silence of the wilderness allows the reader to feel the quiet of grief and see the beauty found in nature. Kengo Kurimoto’s striking illustrations of the gnarled and forgotten forest are startlingly beautiful. Throughout her many visits to her friend in the forest, Poppy blooms and finds connection with nature and her Gran’s memory and even her mother. I found the story compelling and engrossing. This book would be great in a school or public library. It is an excellent issue driven book dealing with loss and depression. It would also be great for a reluctant reader.