Friday, 15 June 2012

Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen (Jonathan Cape PB Ltd)

Oh my, now how on earth are we going to review this without breaking our hard-and-fast rule of 'no spoilers?'

Alright let's give it a try. Good Little Wolf is a rather cute, tiny and friendly little fellow who is kind to everyone, always eats his vegetables and always looks after granny. But something deep down inside him tells him that there's more to being a wolf, so when he meets a big bad wolf walking through the forest one day, Little Wolf undergoes something of an identity crisis.

Nadia Shireen's lovely simple illustrations (which reminded me, rather deliciously, of The Moomins for some reason) underpin a neat and clever little story of exact opposites. Little Wolf is undeniably cute, and (struggle, strain, try not to spoil the book) the end of this story made me want to hug Nadia Shireen for bucking the age-old children's book trend of ending books in a particularly predictable way.

Children love the baddies in a story, and they certainly seem to love anything to do with wolves (whether Red Riding Hood is involved or not) so Nadia Shireen's thoughtful clever mashing together of classic fairy tale ideas with something more contemporary and original is a real breath of fresh air. Loved it!

Charlotte's best bit: Little Wolf's knitting ability

Daddy's favourite bit: The way the book ends. Wish more children's authors would do things like that!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars