Review: Willow the Wildcat

Willow the Wildcat 150A few weeks back, we were wondering where we could find a good story about Scottish wildcats. Then this landed on the doormat – and the wildlife fanatics in our house are delighted.

Lynne Rickards & Kirsteen Harris-Jones’ new picture book follows the adventures of Willow and Corrie, two squabbling wildcat kittens whose lives are turned upside down by the destruction of their den. They set off in search of the perfect new home, and must learn how to protect themselves, and each other, from the hazards of the Highlands as they go.

This rhyming story deftly educates young readers about the habits and habitat of a critically endangered species, but the learning feels incidental because the characters and their adventures are so appealing, and their sibling rivalry feels so real.

While there’s plenty of cuteness, both Rickards’ words and Harris-Jones’ beautifully- detailed illustrations capture the fiercer side of the wildcats too – giving us a really rounded insight into the life of an enigmatic creature that we might never see for ourselves.

Our (then) toddlers fell in love with Lynne Rickards’ rhythmic, rhyming prose when Never Bite a Tiger on the Nose arrived via a Bookbug Bag several years ago. Willow the Wildcat looks set to hold a similar place in their affections – it’s been in the house for less than a week and is already the most re-read and re-requested title of the year, so far (see Flora’s review above)!

Willow the Wildcat, by Lynne Rickards and Kirsteen Harris-Jones (Kelpies). Released Feb 20th 2020.

EXTRA CONTENT: Listen to a mini review of Willow the Wildcat, from Flora aged 5



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