Who’s Afraid of the Quite Nice Wolf? written by Kitty Black and illustrated by Laura Wood
Meet Wilfred, he’s a wolf, but not a scary one! On the front cover of this adorable hardback book he appears, holding a sunflower and a red marker pen, with which he has clearly added the words “quite nice” to a more traditional title. Open to the first page and you will find Wilfred hosting a tea party in his garden, serving delicious looking cakes and biscuits to chickens, sheep and a duck; animals that you would expect to find on his menu! Meanwhile, two mean-looking wolves are glaring at him over his garden fence.
Poor Wilfred, as the story progresses it is very apparent that he does not fit in with the rest of his pack…he’s “even a VEGETARIAN!” The Leader of the pack is determined that Wilfred will learn to be a proper wolf and join an attack on the sheep. However, Wifred has other ideas, and along with his friend Mildred he devises a plan!
This picture book is absolutely wonderful in the way that it subverts the traditional “Big Bad Wolf” fairy-tales. The illustrations by Laura Wood are beautiful in their earthy colour palette, with so much detail to observe and discuss on every page. I love the contrast between Wilfred in his buttoned-up shirt and bow tie, and the rest of the wolf pack with their bandanas, eye-patches and ripped jeans! In very few words the author, Kitty Black, has conjured an incredibly enjoyable story imbued with the message that is ok to be different and to be true to who you are, perfectly pitched for a young audience.
I think this will be a very enjoyable story to share with children aged 4-7, and I am grateful to New Frontier Publishing for sending me a review copy.