Putting a new twist on a classic The Boy Who Cried Wolf, this retelling finds a curmudgeonly wolf discovering what he's been missing the most. Full color.
"In this fractured fable, an old wolf with a vegetable garden (from which his usual harvest is weeds) hears a young goatherd crying, ""Wolf! Wolf!"" The wolf (who wonders if he is invited to lunch) soon makes off with a goat, thinking to ""feast like an old wolf should."" Before dining, however, he notices a difference in his garden: the goat has eaten the weeds and left the veggies. ""I could use a friend like you,"" says the Wolf, and he and the goat walk into the sunset. Roccos expository retelling is lively and conversational, the dialogue adding both energy and humor. Vibrant illustrations feature diagonal lines that sweep from the outer edge to the center of images, focusing the eye. The anthropomorphized wolf dominates nearly every page with his telling countenance and expressive body language. Kimono-draped characters, flying cranes, and pigtailed villagers indicate an Asian landscape, but this cultural disconnect probably wont bother children who arent tied to tradition.--"Del Negro, Janice" Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Ably illustrated and imaginatively reconceived, this version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" stars not the boy, but the wolf. No bloodthirsty brigand, this wolf is an arthritic has-been who's reduced to raising vegetables in a weed-choked garden. The boy's false cries from over the hill raise the wolf's hopes: could this mean a free meal? While children wonder whether the wolf will snag his prey, adults may be intrigued by the story's exotic setting. Under a canopy of wind-swept trees and cherry blossoms, the wolf sports a Chinese silk jacket of the type seen in old Fu Manchu movies, the boy wears a topknot, and the neighbors who complain about the boy's false cries sport queues and silk caps. Rocco (illustrator of Alice by Whoopi Goldberg) creates a world with internal consistency, and his deftly paced long shots and close-ups testify to his previous work in animation (including as art director for Shrek). The wolf smoothly talks the boy out of a goat ("The villagers are only going to believe you if you really are missing a goat. I can help you with that," he says) but, in a beguiling ending, he spares the goat (which has eaten the weeds from his garden). "What's one breakfast," he tells the goat magnanimously, "compared to delicious vegetables for the rest of my days?" The wolf may move slowly, but the story gallops. Rocco substitutes a series of giggles for the traditional finger-pointing moral, a welcome development. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved