Review Detail

Kids Fiction 54
Beware the Big Bad Poet
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Wolf is a poet who prefers to eat pears, but when he travels around the forest to observe the world around him to get inspiration for his writing, the other animals think he is trying to track them down to eat them! This is a problem when he wants to share his poetry, so he remedies this by hanging his poems up from trees. The other animals enjoy the writing, but flee when the wolf himself approaches. The wolf, saddened by this, sits by himself in the woods and laments his luck. He is overheard by a blue jay, who spreads the word that the wolf is peaceful, and the animals then gather to hear the wolf's poetry while enjoying a picnic.
Good Points
Have wolves gotten a bad rap, or a realistic one? I personally would give them a wide berth in the wide, but playing off stereotypes makes for amusing reading. Of course, the wolf is a poet and wants nothing more than to befriend the other woodland creatures, and isn't interested in eating them at all. Unless children live in a log cabin in a forest and can realistically be expected to run into real wolves, this is a fun message.

The Howdeshell's illustrations are well done, with a soft, almost chalk like feel to them. The animals all wear various articles of clothing, and the wolf himself sports a very unthreatening blazer! There's a lot of expression on the faces, and the animals prance across the pages with a lot of details that will make this a fun read aloud for children who like to point out all manner of items on the page.

There's no shortage of picture books starring woodland creatures, so add this to your list of forest frolics that includes Rosen and Won's In the Quiet, Noisy Woods, Dyckman's Wolfie the Bunny, Kurpeil's Lone Wolf and Ramos' I am So Handsome.
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