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Something Wild (Hardcover)
Performance jitters lead to some imaginative what ifs before a little girl finds her confidence.
Hannah loves to play her violin—as long as no one is watching. On the day of the recital, she’s wishing something wild would happen so she won’t have to go. Perhaps a dolphin will jump out of the fountain and carry her away, or a giant rabbit will abscond with her violin. Hannah’s big imagination dreams up all kinds of entertaining scenarios that could change the course of her day, but what actually happens is the most amazing of all!
Children and grown-ups alike will relate to Hannah’s stage fright and get a laugh out of all her wishful thinking. Most importantly, they will be right there beside her on recital day when something wild—and beautiful—happens.
About the Author
Molly Ruttan (mollyruttan.com) wrote and illustrated The Stray, and is the illustrator of Violet and the Crumbs: A Gluten-Free Adventure and I Am a Thief (both by Abigail Rayner). She grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, earned a BFA in graphic design from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, and established a career as a graphic designer and illustrator in Los Angeles. She is married to her childhood friend and music producer, Gabriel Moffat. In addition to illustrating, drawing, painting, and writing, and parenting three daughters, Molly works part-time as a freelance graphic designer. She played violin as a child, and now plays drums and sings in the eclectic-folk rock band New Garden; creates artwork for, records, and performs as a backup singer and percussionist in the progressive art rock band Phideaux (bloodfish.com); and is a member of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music's adult choir Silverlake Singers. Her life is full of music, family, friends, and all kinds of pets. She delights in all forms of creativity and life.
* “Realistic portrayals of Hannah and her family are cleverly interwoven with beautiful, fantastical artwork each time Hannah hopes for ‘something wild’ to occur. . . . These lively juxtapositions continue as the family walks together—Hannah holding her violin—to the school hosting the event. A few simple words describe Hannah’s feelings of anxiety, both at home and backstage. The denouement is a lovely testament to the best magic of which we are capable. . . . The familial closeness continues throughout the book, which combines sweetness, imagination, and gentle humor. Though this tale will appeal to all readers, it will especially resonate with introverts. Brava!” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Ruttan's whimsical story sympathetically depicts an experience likely familiar for lots of children: overcoming stage fright. Her charming, expressive illustrations, in charcoal, pastels, and watercolor, entertainingly interweave the realistic settings with Hannah's fanciful daydreams, which nicely extend the text. This is sure to strike a chord with kid musicians, and the encouragement of family and rewards of following passions are heartening and reassuring notes to end on.” —Booklist
“Mixed-media illustrations deftly swing between the girl’s reality and her fantasies. . . . Pastel shades become vivid swirling colors in Hannah’s imagination but always dull again to recall her real-life plight. Soon she finds herself heading onstage, where art and text work together to manifest her nervousness. . . . When Hannah starts to play, the art turns bold and fantastical again as she loses her self-consciousness in the joy of playing her violin. Small visual details throughout, including Hannah’s lively siblings and her father’s quick stop to buy flowers, make the book especially warm. It closes with a family celebration; however, some of the swirling lines and bold color remain, leaving Hannah and readers awash in the heady glow of a memorable and inspiring performance.” —The Horn Book