Wildwood by Colin Melor and Carson Ellis

Full Disclosure - I knew I was going to read this book the minute I heard it was coming out. Purely because it was written by the man who brought us this:

Meloy is a smart man. Evidenced here, when he appeared on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me.

So, given that, let's talk about the book. It's sheer genius. 

A basic overview: 12 year old Prue is in the park with her 1yr old brother when he is stolen by a murder of crows and taken into the Impassable Wilderness. A school mate named Curtis follows her into the woods to help her save Mac and hijinks ensue. Because of course the Impassable Wildnerness is a magic wood - based on Forest Park in Oregon - that is actually called Wildwood and is inhabited by people and animals...all of whom speak and farm and have lives.

It's got a big flavor of Narnia, but with weaponry and a body count.

Let's talk about the illustrations for a moment - they are delicious. They add to the flavor and aid in the visualization of this vast new world he's created. (I do wonder what they do to the feedback loop, though....)

It was one of those books where I kept thinking "well, I'm just going to have to push through and finish this tonight...the sweet agony of waiting to find out what happens is KILLING ME!" and then I would realize there were well over a hundred pages left and I would sigh and put it off. But mark my words - if I didn't have a toddler to take care of, I wouldn't have put this book down. 

So you should give them a listen (if you're not already a fan) and give his appearance on Wait, Wait a listen...and then block out a chunk of time, get cozy, and read this book.

Trust me.

(ps - it's called Book One of the Wildwood Chronicles. More to come...?! Be still my heart!)
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