A standout among nature books for children, Wild Child is a “dreamy dive into the natural world” (The Guardian) from award-winning author Dara McAnulty, “a young naturalist who inspires with joy” (The New York Times)
Nature is all around us to see, hear, and touch—in the leafy woods, by the sparkling water, or simply out the window. What will you discover? A chattering jay hiding an acorn, a butterfly with camouflaged wings? Perhaps a brilliant red feather you’ll carry home and tie to your journey stick, to remember.
Lavishly illustrated by Barry Falls, this oversize book invites children outdoors on every kind of adventure, from counting the species in an oak tree to searching the riverbed for aquatic dragonfly nymphs. With wonder and poetry, color and curiosity, Wild Child will stir the hearts of readers young and old alike.
Ideal for kids ages 7 to 11
Explore the garden, woods, meadow, and other nearby habitats
Read all about the wonders of nature, from migration to metamorphosis
Make your own bird feeder, terrarium, and more fun nature crafts
Spot local creatures—from chickadees to caddisflies—and learn what makes them special!
Publisher’s note: This US edition of Wild Child is revised to feature plants and animals found in North America.
About the Author
Dara McAnulty is an award-winning author and conservationist with autism. At 16, he won the 2020 Wainwright Prize for his memoir, Diary of a Young Naturalist. He received a British Empire Medal for services to nature and the autistic community in 2023.
Barry Falls has done award-winning illustration work for clients including The New York Times, American Airlines, and The Telegraph. The author of It's Your World Now! and Alone!, he lives in Northern Ireland.
Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Nature and Conservation Writing for Children Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Children’s Travel Book of the Year
Praise for Dara McAnulty and Wild Child
“McAnulty, 17, is fast becoming one of Britain and Ireland’s most acclaimed nature writers for work that is brimming with his passion as well as open about his autism.”—The New York Times
“Dara’s is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical, strong enough to have made him heard and admired from a young age.”—Robert Macfarlane, New York Times–bestselling author of Underland
“Dara is one of the most talented young writers I’ve ever come across; he’s proudly autistic and a passionate defender of nature.”—Steve Silberman, New York Times–bestselling author of NeuroTribes
“Wild Child is a beautifully crafted book that identifies a variety of outdoor settings (such as the woods, open country, and rivers) and inspires the wild child in us all to go outside and explore! It is filled with interesting facts, poetic prose, and colorful illustrations, and demonstrates that there are many different ways to engage with nature.”—Nature Book Guide
“From the prize-winning young naturalist, this is a dreamy dive into the natural world to thrill wildlife fans of six-plus.”—Guardian
“In this fact-packed guide, beautifully illustrated by Barry Falls, [McAnulty’s] distinctive and poetic voice leads us from the garden through to rivers, woods, and uplands to discover birds, insects, and plants. Each section has things to make and the message comes over loud and clear: Take care of nature and connect with your inner wild child.”—Daily Mail
“Wild Child is . . . full of carefully observed insights into the natural world.”—Irish Independent
“Naturalist Dara McAnulty helps children explore local habitats, identifying animals and plants. . . . A treasure trove of facts and projects such as making a bird feeder or terrarium.”—Daily Express
“With the help of glorious illustrations, young naturalist Dara takes us through a world of everyday nature, from migration to metamorphoses. . . . Wherever he takes us, he explores the everyday oaks, bees, and tadpoles with wonder and curiosity.”—Nature’s Home Magazine, the RSPB
“Every page is beautiful but is packed with information too: anything from a brief history of species classification to the collective nouns for birds. There are even instructions on how to make a terrarium and bird feeder—perfect for all children who long to be wild.”—Herald (Scotland)