CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 27. . . .March 19, 2010
The idea behind Groundwood's new book, Wolf Wanted, is a clever one. An advertisement, calling for the services of a wolf, has been placed in a newspaper. The company is then inundated with job applications from a variety of storybook wolves, each seeking the new position. Wolf Wanted was originally published in Brazil in 2005 as Procura-se Lobo. The story was written by Ana Maria Machado while the illustrations were created by Laurent Cardon. The English translation is by Elisa Amado.
In 2000, Ana Maria Machado won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, arguably the most significant award in the world of children's literature. It is awarded every two years to an author in recognition of her/his life's work and the contribution s/he has made to the field of literature for children.
In Wolf Wanted, Manny Wolf reads and responds to job application letters from a variety of wolves, including the ones from the stories Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. The wolf from Kipling's The Jungle Book, the wolf in sheep's clothing, and St. Francis of Assisi's wolf also apply for the job. Another applicant is the wolf from Peter and the Wolf. Other, lesser known wolves also apply for the job, such as the wolf from the Brothers Grimm that appears in the story of The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. While the story is fun, the book is promoted as being for children aged four to seven years. I do not believe that Canadian children of such a young age are sufficiently aware of enough of the book's wolves to appreciate the story. I suspect that some young readers and/or listeners will have trouble identifying the wolves in question and will, therefore, be confused by the book.
Recommended with reservations.
Gregory Bryan teaches literacy classes and children's literature in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.