I miss the days when I didn’t have to bribe my kids to go outdoors. As a toddler, my younger daughter used to bang on the back door, her ‘subtle’ signal that she wanted to play in the backyard. It didn’t matter if it was pouring buckets or sleeting on a cold, spring-ish day; this kid needed to breathe the fresh air and feel the wind on her skin. It was partly because I knew she had developed a true affinity for all the creatures who lived outdoors permanently. To her, it wasn’t fair that they could be outside whenever they wanted. Sometimes, I wondered to myself if she might be part animal. Perhaps that is why the new picture book Halfway Wild speaks to me so fervently. This delightful tale of a family’s animal-like similarities plays into some of our greatest observations as young parents. Telltale images of tired kids sliding on socks and deep sea divers splashing in the water remind us that play is truly the work of childhood–and one that we’ll pine for once it becomes just a memory. No matter if your child tears through dinner like a savage beast, or acts sloth-like when it’s time to take a bath or do homework, you are bound to find a relatable character on these pages. So, during those days when mealtime becomes more of a mess than you can handle, put on your best game face…and remember when splashing in rain puddles was all the rage.
In a Nutshell: A sweet read that reminds us that life with kids is never dull, especially when we can take time to appreciate the insanity, inside and out.