“Wilbur’s Epic Journey” by Dione Butcher

“Wilbur’s Epic Journey” by Dione Butcher 683 1024 Reader Views Kids

Wilbur’s Epic Journey  

Dione Butcher
Creative Book Writers (2023)
ISBN:  978-1961497283
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (01/2024)

“Wilbur’s Epic Journey” by Dione Butcher caught my eye immediately with the cover. It felt simple and minimalistic, but showing the wildebeest calf on the tall grass, under the clear blue sky with the ‘epic journey’ reference in the title sparked my interest immediately.  The cover was perfect for the story of a baby wildebeest growing up in Serengeti. The information presented to the young readers is real, but having Wilbur tell his own story made it flow almost like a movie. It felt part like an Animal Planet Documentary and part like a History Channel biography.

Dione Butcher did a great job presenting a non-fiction nature book about wildebeests in a format that will not only captivate its target audience but also inform them. It is well-written, in a simple clear voice while presenting new vocabulary to young readers. The illustrations are realistic but without the gruesomeness of the animal documentaries on TV. I loved the fact that it presents the fear and suspense of being hunted by a predator without the need to show a graphic result, as it was a failed hunt. This allows the reader to learn about the circle of life without the trauma of the successful hunt aftermath.

I have always believed that nature is the best teacher for our children to learn about life. I remember using the Animal Planet documentaries as a tool for explaining some facts of life to my two girls when they were kids. I’ve even modeled my parenting style on the style of mothers in the animal kingdom of direct, truthful teaching for survival style. Watching Wilbur’s mom explain the harsh facts of the circle of life to him brought so many memories of those wonderful and challenging years.

I truly enjoyed reading “Wilbur’s Epic Journey” by Dione Butcher and am sure that it will captivate young readers as well as all other nature and wildlife lovers. I definitely recommend this read as a 5-star ride into the life of wildebeests and a must-read for young readers!

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