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A New Kind of Wild

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  150 ratings  ·  31 reviews
This sweet author-illustrator debut celebrates imagination, the magic of friendship, and all the different ways we make a new place feel like home.

For Ren, home is his grandmother’s little house, and the lush forest that surrounds it. Home is a place of magic and wonder, filled with all the fantastical friends that Ren dreams up. Home is where his imagination can run wild.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Dial Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  150 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Adriana Martinez Figueroa
A New Kind of Wild is a love letter to Puerto Rico and its diaspora in New York City through the eyes of a little boy named Ren. Every inch of each page is filled to the brim with beautiful art done in watercolors and colored pencils; from coquíes to unicorns, the real meshes with the imaginary in the way it does in the mind of a kid full of love for their home. Zara brings in details from the island to life, such as the flor de maga, and details from the city, such as a rat eating a cookie; ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When Ren has to leave his home on the edge of the magical wild in Puerto Rico, he is overwhelmed in the new big city and dislikes everything about it. It's too loud, too crowded, and definitely not magical. But his new neighbor Ava is determined to show him what she loves about the big city where she has grown up. Through her eyes, Ren learns that different doesn't mean bad, and he learns to love the very different magic found in the big city.

The illustrations are the best part of this book. So
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‪This picture book is not only colorful and gorgeous to look at, but deep in its words and story, too. The author explores what home means and how that may look different to each of us. 🌈🍃‬
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
A New Kind of Wild by Zara Gonzalez Hoang. PICTURE BOOK. Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House), 2020. $18. 9780525553892



Ren is new to the city and not only that, but the place he moved from was a magical forest. He is having a hard time adjusting until Ava, his new neighbor show him how to appreciate the city by taking him to the roof of their building so everything isn’t so loud.

I never really sunk into this story. I wa
Ren lived “on the edge of el Yunque,” a tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico. It’s a truly magical place full of dirt and rocks and dragons and unicorns and faerie and coquis. And just when you think: wow, what an ideal childhood home, you turn the page. He’s moving away.

Ren and his mother move to “a brick and cement city,” that was “too loud and too fast. It made Ren’s head fill up with everything and nothing.” He’s lonely without his wild, and homesick. Fortunately, there is the girl upstairs, A
Veronica Jorge
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A New Kind of Wild by Zara Gonzalez Hoang, author/illustrator
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020 ARC ISBN 978 0 525 55389 2

When little Ren leaves his house by the rainforest, a place of magical adventures and grandma’s love, his wild green world is replaced by the brick and drab grey cement of the big city.

Ren feels uprooted and lonely until he meets his neighbor, Ava who persuades him that change can be good. Ava takes him around the city and shows him that even in the city there is always som
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Refreshing to have a country vs. city story where the child from the rural/nature area comes to love the city rather than the other way around. There are heaps of stories about how the country is superior to the city, positioning the country as a place where children belong and the city as unsuitable to children. I think that narrative is rooted in a lot of problematic ideas, and there is a sort of country supremacy that is wrapped up in racial homogeneity and an imagined "simpler" past. This bo ...more
Ana Siqueira
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A new Kind of Wild is a book that will fill your imagination and take you on a beautiful trip.
First Ren and his wild place filled with unicorns and fairies.
Then he moves to a big city and meets Ava. A girl who is happy to go through all the colors and sounds of the big city.
Such a beautiful story filled with lyrical language and amazing illustration.
Wow. So colorful and bright, so vivid and real, so wild.
I strongly recommend this book to show all of us how perspective can change everything, bu
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When you’re used to things a certain way and happy just like that, change can be difficult. When Ren moves from
Puerto Rico to a big city in the continental US, Ada takes him under her wing to show his how wonderful the city is. But what she loves isn’t what he loves, and he can’t find the magic she sees in it all. I loved so much about this book! That it starts in beautiful Puerto Rico, right by the el Yunque rainforest! That there is friendship, misunderstandings, apologies, and reconciliation!
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
What is wild? Where does your heart lead you? Where is Home? Ren knew the answers to all of those questions before he was moved to the city. All the color and magic and wild leaves his life. Everything becomes grey. Ava has only known her apartment home in the city, with all of its movement and magic and life; can he convince Ren that this is Home and that there is wildness and wonder to be found?

The illustrations are beautiful and convey the moods so aptly. Moving is rough and changes everythin
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ren is used to the wildness around his foresty home, full of mystical creatures big and small to run and play with. When he has to move to the city, he feels so lonely and out of place. When he meets Ava, she tries to show him the life of the city, but it's still just not the same. A New Kind of Wild is a moving-away tale that admits you don't need to forget about your old home, while still discovering the excitement and adventures in new places.
Abby Johnson
Ren loves the jungle near his home, a place where his imagination can run wild, but when he moves to the city, he feels homesick and lonely. The city is gray and loud and Ren can't find any of his magic there. Luckily, a new friend helps to show him how they can find magic in the city just like in the country. This is a good choice for anyone moving to a new home and struggling to find what's special about it or a good choice for units on rural vs. city.
Ren, depicted with tan skin and straight brown hair, loves his home on the edge of el Yunque, and misses it desperately when he has to move to a big, un-magical city. But then he meets Ava, depicted with brown skin and tightly curly black hair, who shows him how magical the city can be and becomes his friend in the process. A very sweet story of finding magic in new places.

Themes: Moving, New home, City, Friendship, Magic
Age range: 3-6
Madison Lawson
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Every page is FULL of beautiful watercolor art that compliments the lyrical words and reflects the mind of a child. Both magical and realistic, the illustrations capture the imagination and preserve a way of life. A New Kind of Wild is a beautiful book with illustrations that jump off the page any child will love.
Alexandra Alessandri
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read an eARC of this beautiful picture book and had to purchase a copy for myself. It's a beautiful and sweet exploration of the meaning of home, filled with gorgeous illustrations, characters you can't help but love, and so much heart. It's the kind of story you want to re-read over and over again!
A sweet story of a boy who must find new magic in his surroundings upon moving from a rural community to an urban one. Good for children making new starts, and certainly for those making dramatic moves.
Lorian Tu-Dean
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The art in this book is so fresh and exciting! I love this story and the two friends in it. They take care of each other in such important ways, and they make me appreciate where I am in the moment, while also feeling reverie for all the places I've been.
Kerri Kokias
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A colorful and imaginative story about friendship and finding familiarity and magic in new environments. It was so sad when Ren had to move and leave his wild, so it was so satisfying when he found his own wild in his new urban environment.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lesson-plan
I'm on the nature train these days, but some kids don't have the luxury of getting out of the city. Nice way to look at what can be found among the cement. And the 2nd grade teachers could maybe use for their rural v. urban unit.
Shannon (That's So Poe)
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
This is a cute story about a boy from the countryside moving the city and not being sure how to find its beauty, but learning how to from a new friend. It's definitely sweet, although not exactly my style of art.
Jessie Sima
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely story about friendship and home, with colorful and vibrant watercolor artwork.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A sweet picture book about the difficulties of moving to a new home and finding the magic wherever you live.
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
Edward Sullivan
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ren's new friend, Ava, introduces him to a new kind of wild in the city.
Great Books
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ages-3-5
At the beginning of the book a young boy named Ren lives in a house on the edge of el Yunque with his grandmother where uses his imagination to have fun and magical adventures. Ren is sad when he moves to the city because he thinks his adventures have come to an end. However, Ava, a young girl who lives in his apartment building and his new friend, eventually shows Ren just magical the city can be.
Reviewer #1
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations complement this story so well. Pair with "Florette" by Anna Walker.
Erin Richards
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A sweet book about friendship and discovering the magic of a new home.
Shanique Edwards
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A brilliantly colored book about adapting to a new environment and finding the good in the new place
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
it's a beautiful book with a beautiful message. I love it a lot!!
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