Monday, June 11, 2007

Wolves by Emily Gravett


Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett

Simon & Schuster, 2005

ISBN: 978-1-4169-1491-4

Age Group: 5 and under

I first heard about this book when it came up on the 2007 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children's Literature. Wolves is a honor book for the picture book category.

What I loved:

1) The story within a story--I really love books that are a story within a story. The rabbit in this story goes to the library to check out a book at the library. He checks out a book about wolves. The text of the wolf book is in this story as the main text--until he finds out what wolves eat (rabbits, of course). Like David Wiesner's The Three Pigs, the reader sees the book within a book, but you also see the characters outside of the book. In this case, you see the rabbit and the wolf. The book leads up to the a scary confrontation--the wolf and the rabbit. The rabbit is terrified he will be eaten.

2) The illustrations and quirky humor throughout. The book's illustrations are in mixed media. The text of the Wolf book being read by the rabbit is in pencil drawings. The rabbit is also done in pencil drawings, but he has a little color in him which helps him stand out against the black and white drawings from the book. The book about Wolves is red canvas looking material. There is a textural effect with the book when it becomes the most prominent thing on the page. The cover is torn to shreds when the rabbit finds out the wolf eats rabbits. At the front and the back of the book on the end papers, there are postcards, envelopes, and and silly labels. On the front where the title page normally is, there is a reproduction of the front cover as if we are looking down on a smaller copy of the book. It says the book is by Emily Grrrabbit. Ha! Genius!

This is a fun but simple books that will thrill preschoolers!

Read an interview with Emily Gravett here.

Emily Gravett's website is also top-notch and very interactive.

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