Walk on the Wild Side by Nicholas Oldland
This clever picture book tells readers right away what to expect. "There once was a bear, a moose and a beaver who loved adventure. But sometimes their competitive natures got in the way of having fun." One day, the three set off to climb a mountain together. But on the way there, they decide to make it more exciting by turning the climb into a race to the top. It's only after being sidelined by a series of mishaps -- a boulder tumbling down the path, the moose hanging off the side of the cliff, the bear hanging off the moose hanging off the side of the cliff -- that the three friends realize competitions don't always make for a good time. "At the end of the day, the bear, the moose and the beaver agreed that reaching the top of the mountain was great, but enjoying the journey together was even better." This funny, contemporary fable is from Nicholas Oldland's popular Life in the Wild series. The wonderful fun here is the comedy that highlights the adventure, in both the dry humor of the text as well as the simple, earth-toned illustrations that provide a humorous visual play-by-play of the action. This would make a terrifically entertaining storytime title, easily promoting the importance of teamwork, kindness and friendship. It could also be used in the early grades as part of a classroom discussion of woodland animals and their habitats. Another lesson here is the pleasure of getting outdoors for recreation.