Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wolfie by Emma Barnes illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

Before you start to read Wolfie take a flip through the whole book and look at the illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark - they are brilliant.

Lucie wants a dog (how odd that I just read Invisible dog this week too) and so early on in the story her Uncle Joe brings her birthday present.

"Uncle Joe was standing on the doorstep.  But he was not alone. 'Hello!' boomed Uncle Joe. 'My, Lucie, how you've grown. And your hair is as read as ever, I see!'  
Lucie was not listening. She was staring at the animal that stood next to Uncle Joe.
It was BIG - bigger than Lucie.
It had pointed ears and sharp teeth.
It had a silvery coat and sweeping tail.
It had glinting eyes that looked straight at Lucie"

No one else seems to realise this is not a dog - it is a WOLF!  Lucie is a brave and practical girl and so she meets the wolf in the kitchen at midnight and discovers she can talk.   Her full name is Fang-that-Bites-Sharp-In-The -Forest but Lucie calls her Fang for short.  None of the adults notice Fang until one fateful day when Fang steps in to rescue a small child who has run onto the road.  The school authorities hear complaints about a wolf outside the school and so Lucie must find a way to protect her friend.  In a magical dream-like sequence she meets Silver Paw and he offers some advice in the form of a riddle :

"The task begins at your own front door
For answer follow your own right paw
Human knowledge is what you need
Written in the form that humans read."

An astute reader will know what this means long before Lucie.  Her neighbour is an old professor.  Lucie assumes HE is old and eccentric.  She is wrong on both counts but I will leave this for you to discover.

You might like to read this review or this one.  Here is a web site for the author.  We have 92 stories in our school library that feature wolves.  Wolfie might be a great way to begin your exploration of this theme.

1 comment:

kinderbooks said...

I love this book too. My Year 2 Enrichment class and I have fun looking at whether wolves are stereotyped in stories and now I have quite a few short chapter books to use. Do you have Lucy and the Big bad Wolf by Ann Jungman, Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr and Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede?