Growing up I was (and still am) a huge fan of The Decemberists and I have memories attached to every single one of their songs and albums. I love how richly the lyrics are crafted and the vast literary and historical references they use – their songs are often mini stories in and of themselves. Red Right Ankle is one of my all time favourite songs and I always listen to it when I’m feeling a bit blue or stressed, so no matter how old I get they will always have a special place in my record collection. I knew that their lead singer, Colin Meloy was married to the illustrator Carson Ellis, but I hadn’t got around to checking out any of the Wildwood Chronicle books they made together until recently when Matt came home from work brandishing a copy for me (he’s a keeper).
Technically these are aimed at children, but I think the best stories can often transcend that. In my experience many books aimed at kids are patronising and I think it’s actually a very difficult thing to get right for many people, however talented they may be at writing in general. Wildwood has the balance just right, and adults can definitely lose themselves in this book just as much as a child could. I’m still not finished but I really wanted to share it with you because it’s so beautifully made and illustrated in Carson’s signature style. I’m definitely going to be checking out the rest of the Wildwood Chronicles and this has inspired me to read more fantasy-adventure. It’s a genre I rarely dip my toe into, in fact I need to read more fiction in general, I’m very much a non fiction/critical thinking gal most of the time!
The Wildwood website is worth a look – a really great example of using the internet and video to explore a book and the world it creates more, they have a really cute interview with Colin & Carson and even a Wildwood playlist.
Have you read Wildwood? Let me know what you’re currently reading!
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