Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wolf Pie

Can a leopard change its spots? I don't know the answer to that, but having just finished Wolf Pie, I'm open to believing a wolf can. At least one particular wolf, one who goes by the name Wilfong. In this clever retake on the Three Little Pigs, the Pygg brothers don't bother with building homes out of hay or straw. They wisely choose bricks from the get-go and are rewarded with a strong and sturdy place to live. So when Wilfong comes a-knocking (and a-huffing and a-blowing), he's out of luck. But wolves are persistent sorts, and Wilfong decides to wait until they come out, however long that may take.

In the process of waiting, Wilfong becomes friends with the three porcine residents. He listens to their stories, sings along when they play on the piano, and enjoys the delicious food the pigs share with him. By the time spring arrives, he's a reformed wolf. And while the pigs don't yet trust him 100 percent, they do build him his own separate annex at the side of the brick house--but with a door that only leads outside.

Wilfong further earns the pigs' gratitude when he saves their lives while the foursome are vacationing at the seaside. But how will Wilfong act when put to the ultimate test? Back home, a pack of less civilized wolves arrive at the pigs' doorstep, looking for dinner. They present Wilfong with an ultimatum: Either they dine on pork or they dine on him. Will Wilfong turn in his friends or will he find a way to outwit the the wolf pack? What do you think?

Wolf Pie is a good choice for kids who have outgrown early readers and are ready to graduate to chapter books. The story is a familiar one, and readers will enjoy comparing the traditional story to the modern version. Broken into four chapters, the text moves along at a brisk pace, with plenty of dialog and action, a lot of it humorous. The colorful illustrations by Liz Callen, reminiscent of James Marshall's artwork, add to the fun.

Wolf Pie
by Brenda Seabrooke
illustrated by Liz Callen
Clarion Books, 48 pages
Published: 2010

1 comment:

  1. Anything that is reminiscent of James Marshall's artwork is for me!!!