Once there was a boy who lived in the mountain forests of southern France. He lived completely alone, without mother, father, or friends. He didn't know what a mother or father was. He was naked. He didn't know what clothes were. He didn't know he was a boy, or even a person. He didn't know what people were. He was completely wild.
In simple prose and an abundance of sharp, vivid illustrations that capture the energy of youth, this extraordinarily touching picture book brings to life the child who was Victor in a way that will delight and engage young readers.
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Mordicai Gerstein worked for many years as a designer and director of animated films before turning to writing and illustrating picture books. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Ages 6^-8, older for reading alone. In the year 1800, an authentic wild child was captured near the village of Saint-Sernin in the south of France. How the boy had survived, naked and alone in the forest, remains a mystery to this day. More to the point: when his case continued to baffle leading scientists of the day, the boy was declared hopelessly retarded and remanded to an institution. There, he caught the eye and imagination of a young doctor named Jean-Marc Itard, who adopted the child and named him Victor. Inspired by both the historical case and Francois Truffaut's 1970 movie, The Wild Child, Gerstein has written and illustrated a haunting and sometimes heartbreaking version. Cinematic in the layout and design of its beautifully colored illustrations, The Wild Boy is masterful in capturing Victor's passionate love for the wilderness and contrasting it with the hideous bleakness of the "civilized" existence he must endure until his adoption by Itard. Gerstein's prose finds power in its simplicity and emotional resonance in its declarative understatement: "He loved the icy water from the mountain streams and drank with his chin touching the mossy rocks." Meanwhile, the narrative strength and energy of the illustrations expand the inherent drama of Victor's situation. Together, Gerstein's text and pictures work to create an unforgettable story that engages the empathy of readers while stimulating their imaginations. Gerstein's novel about Victor is reviewed in the Older Readers section in this issue. Michael Cart
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0374384312 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0114619
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110374384312