West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet – A Book Review

Title: West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet 
Author: Deborah Hodge 
Illustrator: Karen Reczuch 
Age Range: K-3 
Publisher: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2015 


Celebrate the Pacific west coast with this gorgeous nature alphabet book.

This stunning nature alphabet book explores the fascinating ecosystem of the Pacific west coast — a magnificent area that combines an ancient rainforest, a rugged beach and a vast, open ocean, and where whales, bears, wolves, eagles and a rich variety of marine species thrive in an interconnected web of life.

Author Deborah Hodge has spent more than forty years on the west coast, frequently visiting the Pacific Rim region, and she knows it intimately. From A to Z she describes in vivid language the rainforest, ocean and beach, and a great variety of animals that a child might see walking along the shore — from tiny sea jellies to inquisitive sandpipers to leaping orcas. Illustrator Karen Reczuch brings her remarkable talent to the book, and has created image after image that is simply breathtaking. The text and art have been carefully checked for scientific accuracy.

Includes a note about the Pacific west coast and suggestions for exploring the region and further reading.


Do you want to teach your child about Canada, and in particular, British Columbia, or Canadian wildlife? Do you enjoy picture books with incredible detailed artwork? Look no further than West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet by Deborah Hodge! 

West Coast Wild is an alphabet book. After a brief introduction inviting the reader to explore the Pacific west coast, what follows are descriptions about the area according to each alphabet letter. Each letter stands for a certain aspect of the Pacific west coast such as an animal or other feature. After stating what the alphabet letter stands for, a fact is given which helps the reader learn more about the topic. 

The book describes what you might see when you go for a walk along the seashore. The Pacific west coast has an incredible, unique ecosystem that is quite different than anywhere else in Canada. Be prepared to be amazed not only by the diversity of life found on the west coast but also by the incredible, detailed and stunning artwork by internationally-exhibited artist Karen Reczuch! 

I really love this book. The artwork is what really stands out. The only thing better would be actually visiting the Pacific west coast yourself! The artwork is simply amazing. I think that children older than the recommended book age range would appreciate the incredible artwork too. 

I also appreciate that there are facts to go along with each alphabet item. The wording is well chosen and beautifully written! For example, for letter P: “P is for Pacific Ocean, the biggest ocean in the world. Its waters teem with life! Listen to the roar of the great waves. Feel the mist on your face.” 

I highly recommend this book for anyone studying Canada, British Columbia, Canadian wildlife, the Pacific Ocean or related topics. The stunning artwork will draw you in and make you wish you could go visit! 

I was given a copy of this book for the purpose of review. However, all opinions are my own.

Lisa Marie Fletcher
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1 thought on “West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet – A Book Review”

  1. I absolutely loved this article – it’s such a delightful and educational way to learn about the wonderful nature on the West Coast!

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