BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Little Wise Wolf (available here)
Author: Gijs vander Hammen (Translated by Laura Watkinson)
Illustrator: Hanneke Siemensma
Publisher: Book Island
Publication Date: October 2018
Most Suitable for: KS1 (or LKS2 reluctant readers)
Reviewed By: Kathryn Gilbert, Deputy Headteacher
The story begins by introducing the reader to the title character ‘Little Wise Wolf’. He is known by this name as he knows everything, reads big books and discovers new things.
The animals who live nearby visit him to ask intriguing questions like ‘how many stars are in the sky?’. Little Wise Wolf chooses to ignore the animals and the questions they ask, as he feels he does not have time as he has so many books to read.
One day, a crow flies through his window with a message from the king explaining that the king is ill and needs Little Wise Wolf to make him better. Little Wise Wolf initially refuses but the crow explains that if the king needs help, you have to go.
The story then details Little Wise Wolf’s journey to the king. The animals watch him and consider helping him. Little Wise Wolf grows tired and hungry and thinks about giving up. But the animals in the woods help feed him and provide shelter so he could rest. Little Wise Wolf continues his journey to the city but he once again becomes lost and tired. A kind cat helps him find the castle and the crow encourages him to enter even though Little Wise Wolf thinks someone else can make the king better.
Little Wise Wolf was able to make the king well again by making medicine from herbs that only he knows from a book that only he has read. The king was so grateful to Little Wise Wolf that he offers him a job as the royal doctor and promises he can read and will never be disturbed. But Little Wise Wolf has learned a lot from his journey and decides that he wants to go home as he has lots he can learn from the other animals. Now, Little Wise Wolf is never too busy for the other animals but still reads and learns as much as he did before, maybe even more.
This is a clever tale that tells a moral story that is important for children to understand. The narrative develops and the character grows as the plot evolves. It has the feel of a modern-day Aesop fable, intertwined with unique illustrations.
BooksForTopics comment: An original book, brilliant for those who enjoy stories about a journey – Little Wise Wolf undertakes a journey both physically and morally and needs a little help from his friends for both parts. We loved the unfolding of the plot, the muted colours of the illustrations that span each double-page spread and the intriguing journey maps in the endpapers.
You can order Little Wise Wolf online or from your local bookshop or library.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Kathryn Gilbert for reviewing the book.