Book Review: All Our Wild Wonder by Sarah Kay

All Our Wild Wonder

All Our Wild Wonder, by Sarah Kay and illustrated by Sophia Janowitz (Published in 2018 by Hachette Books)

My Rating: ★★★★☆

A quick review for a quick read:

I came across this at a booksale this week. This poem is a short, heartwarming tribute to teachers and educators, with an emphasis on those who had been intentional in cultivating wonder and the love of learning in our lives. In particular, the lines “She made us wonder. She made us question. / She made us proud of what we had learned” reminded me of one high school science teacher of mine who was known to be challenging because of her difficult tests and high standards. But she taught us so well and with so much enthusiasm that we were frequently surprised when we eventually did meet the standards that we’d thought were impossible to meet. For awhile, it made me feel like I was actually good at science. That was short-lived, of course, since college eventually proved me wrong, but I still carry the “muscle memory”, if you will, of challenging myself to master difficult concepts because of her. 

As for the poetry, I don’t think this is Sarah Kay’s best (then again, I’ve only watched her spoken word performances), but the words coupled with the line-drawn illustrations by Sophia Janowitz made for a really charming read.

All Our Wild Wonder - Pic Edited

One final thing that struck me about this book is that the teacher Sarah Kay gives tribute to in this poem, who also serves as the school principal, is an Indian woman who wears saris while she’s at work with the children. As a result, the children come to associate her image with that of education and learning, so much so that when they see Indian women in their saris on the street, they stare in wonder because there’s “so many principals!” I found this absolutely delightful.

Overall a charming read, and as the blurb says, it really would make a great gift for teachers. 

Read January 2, 2019 | Goodreads Account