Wilder Good is an adventure book for young boys and girls who love to be outdoors exploring nature. Dahlstrom’s book, The Elk Hunt, is first in a new adventure series designed to show the beauty of inter-generational friendships as young Wilder tries desperately to show his mentor, Gale, that he has what it takes. The book features the two friends on an elk hunt near Cottonwood, Colorado, “…just north of the New Mexico line and right in the foothills between the Front Range and the Great Plains, which stretched from their little town into Kansas and south to Texas.” While Gale teaches Wilder about hunting he is also modeling Christian values and how to live a good life. Reminiscent of Hank the Cow Dog (Erickson), Wilder is written in a straightforward manner that all youth will enjoy. The dialogue is easy to follow and has enough joking and smart-aleky-ness that young readers will remain interested in the story. The book is packed with action and both boys and girls will easily be able to “see” themselves in the woods right beside Wilder and Gale.
This book is great for read aloud time at schools as the illustrations are compelling and the story itself holds young listeners at the edge of their seats.