CM . . . .
Volume V Number 11 . . . . January 29, 1999
Here is my nose.With a line of text on the left side of each double page spread, Douzou then uses the right portion to reveal gradually a wolf's head, facial feature by facial feature. Once it is completed, Douzou adds a napkin, and then the wolf begins to growl while spreading over both pages. Finally the cartoon-like carnivore shares with readers the contents of its lunch - a carrot.
The humour of this board book, of course, resides in the contrast between the traditional image of "the big bad wolf" and the book's lupine vegetarian. However, the joke may not be truly available to children and may actually be directed at the adult purchasers. Certainly part of the book's appeal is supposed to come from the child's guessing the identity of the creature being created. Nonetheless, this "conservation task" may be too difficult for younger "readers." As well, the surprise of the wolf's supper is spoiled by the cover illustration which shows a napkinned wolf sitting before a plate bearing a carrot.
Recommended with reservations.
Dave Jenkinson teaches children's literature courses in the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
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