I smell fall! Time for ACORN WAS A LITTLE WILD, by Jen Arena & Jessica Gibson

Am I ever glad I met this funny, sweet, lighthearted, fall-iscious romp!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

  1. As stated above, it’s funny AND sweet. Humor and heart, a combination guaranteed to get my writerly heart thumping.
  2. A nonhuman protagonist that works. Now, you wouldn’t think an acorn would have much control over his own destiny. Oh, but he does. He protags his impulsive little self into all sorts of predicaments.
  3. Voice. It’s written in third person, yet you feel like you’re experiencing Acorn’s adventures through his sensibilities. And without one. extra. word. Well done, (former editor) Jen Arena.
  4. Unpredictability. I mean, you know he’s going to end up growing into a mighty oak. But HOW on earth is he going to get to that point? That not knowing kept me turning pages.
  5. Jessica Gibson’s marvelous illustrations. Simple, yet irresistible. Color me SOLD. (Yes, I bought this one. Teachers, this would make a great addition to your classrooms.)
  6. An extremely satisfying ending. Even though Acorn grows into an oak, he’s “still a little wild inside.” AND he has a way of pulling that from everybody around him. Perfection.

My all-time favorite acorn book. (y’know. so far.) Random spreads to whet your sightbuds:

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum has been picture book crazy since her 3 kids were little, and especially so after her first was published in 2004 (Stink Soup). Recent titles: Bird Girl - Gene Stratton-Porter Shares Her Love of Nature With the World, Parrotfish Has a Superpower, Stinkbird Has a Superpower, Sea Turtle Swims, Kangaroo Hops, Jack Knight's Brave Flight, We Love Babies!, Where'd My Jo Go?, Frog Boots, How to Grow a Dinosaur, Frankenbunny, If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party, Elwood Bigfoot– Wanted: Birdie Friends!, Teeny Tiny Toady, I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!, and more. Coming in 2025: Polecat Has a Superpower!, It's Corn-Picking Time!, Giraffe Runs. She's also the author of many nonfiction books for young readers, as well as an early graphic reader series, Thunder & Cluck. Learn more at http://jillesbaum.com.


  1. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    Oh my, this looks fun. Off to see if my library has it!

  2. I love this book! Especially when Acorn begins to sprout and says or thinks something to the effect of “Changing was an adventure, so Acorn was ALL IN!” Lol

  3. Jennifer Raudenbush

    This looks so cute! Can’t wait to read it.

  4. I must have this!

  5. Gotta love a nut with personality–this looks like such a fun book!

  6. Gotta love a nut with personality–this looks like so much fun!

  7. This looks so fun, Jill. Must get a copy too! Thank you for showcasing it.

  8. I love this book so much I reviewed it for Perfect Picture Book Friday. So much fun!

  9. Such fun! Whoever thought that acorns could be wild!

  10. This looks so cute! Can’t wait to read it!

  11. This looks so cute! Can’t wait to read it!

  12. Janet Frenck Sheets

    That’s got to be the cutest acorn ever.

  13. Little Acorn has hooked me! Gotta read to see what happens!.

  14. Yay for Acorn. I love his personality!

  15. This looks so cute! Thanks for sharing this, Jill, and for giving us some hints of the special writing to look for!

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