Tuesday 30 August 2016

The Wolf who Cried Boy by James O'Neill and Russell Ayto (Picture Corgi)

Taking a widely recognised tale and flipping it on its head is always a fab idea when it comes to children's stories...
Pretty much everyone who breathes will know the story of "The Boy who Cried Wolf", that classic tale of an attention seeking social miscreant who led the villagers a merry dance until one fateful day a real wolf turned up and devoured his entire flock of sheep.

in James' and Russell's "The Wolf who Cried Boy", a subtle tale of opposing factions is brought to life. On one side of the river the villagers live in fear of the terrible wolves who live in the forest, sharpening their teeth and hungrily drooling at the thought of scoffing innocent villagers and their children.

On the other side of the river you have the wolves, who similarly live in fear of the terrible villagers who live in the village, sharpening their axes and hungrily drooling at the thought of making a rich brothy stew out of wolves, while luxuriating in their wolf-skin-covered beds.

One tiny wolf lives in such fear of the villagers that with every creak of a tree branch or every rustle of the wind he cries "BOY!! BOY!!" and runs home to his world-weary parents.

In the village a boy does the same thing, only crying "WOLF!! WOLF!!" every time a dog barks or a cricket twitches its back legs.

One fateful day the two meet by the river as they turn up to bathe. Their shouts are largely unheard but perhaps the two may learn that they're not that different after all, and in fact playing together might help cement an amazing friendship between wolves and humans once and for all.

There have been many versions of "The Wolf who Cried Boy" as well as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" but this is a rather lovely and touching little story with a real feelgood ending. We really loved the adorable characters in this too, particularly the wolves (who were actually rather pleasant rather than being nasty nefarious baddies!)

"The Wolf who Cried Boy" is out now from Picture Corgi (kindly supplied for review)