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|Wolf in the snow|
Author: Cordell, Matthew
The tale of a girl who finds a wolf cub lost in the snow.
Caldecott Medal, 2018
Kirkus Reviews (+) (10/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (01/01/17)
Booklist (+) (12/15/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/17)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 In this nearly wordless (but not soundless) book, a girl leaves school amid a worsening snowstorm at the same time that a pack of wolves seek cover. When a pup loses the fast-moving adult wolves, the girl finds it, picking it up since the snow is now too deep for the little mite. Our heroine finds the wolf pack by their howling and returns the puppy; when she takes a header on her way home, the pack surrounds her and howls an alarm that enables her searching mother and loyal dog to find her. It’s an appealing story, and the limited text (only animal sounds, especially a lot of long-drawn-out howls and puppy whines, and the girl’s labored breathing) heightens the tension. Our heroine’s red coat and lupine interactions suggests a newer, kinder relationship between Little Red Riding Hood and the wolves, an association kids are sure to recognize. Cordell’s familiar scribbly linework has its usual energy, and his watercolor art also attains some surprising gravitas in its depiction of the wolf pack and beauty in its views of the snowy landscape. There’s a snowy sweetness here that would make this a rewarding winter holiday story, or it could provide an upbeat concluding twist to a folktale sequence. DS - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 12/15/2016 *Starred Review* In parallel opening spreads, a little girl says good-bye to her parents and dog as she heads off to school, and a wolf cub ranges across the field with his pack. At day’s end, the girl, wearing a bright red coat and hood (catch that allusion!), heads home as snow begins to fall. The snow thickens across the subsequent pages, and soon she is lost, just as the wolf cub is separated from his pack in the storm. A chance encounter leads to a moment of solidarity: when the wolf cub sinks in the snow, the girl scoops him up, carrying him towards the distant howls of his family. He’s home safe, but she’s still lost—until the wolves, realizing a debt is owed, return for her, and their howls bring her own family. This nearly wordless picture book is a tender, never precious story of kindness and cooperation. The ink-and-watercolor illustrations, though simple, are packed with emotion, while the minimal text relays only sounds: the distant howls of the wolves, the whines of the wolf cub, the girl’s huffs of breath as she struggles through the snow. Cordell’s wolves aren’t cuddly cartoons by any means, but neither are they monsters; instead, they’re realistically depicted wild animals who inherently understand loyalty. Expect this wintry tale to bring only warmth. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 K-Gr 2—In this mostly wordless picture book, a girl gets lost in a snowstorm while walking home from school. At the same time, a wolf pup gets separated from its pack. The girl discovers the pup and carries it through dangerous and icy terrain to reconnect with its pack, and the wolves assist the girl by howling to attract her searching family. Cordell's artistic approach is a little more free-form than in his past titles. It works well in depicting the twisting trees in the snowstorm but is more challenging to pull off with the characterization of the girl. Yet he succeeds. Only her eyes are visible in her large red triangular parka, with a scarf across her mouth and nose, as she trudges through the snow; there is so much emotion in her eyes that viewers know all that they need to know about this almost comically bundled, shapeless figure. Cordell's landscapes do a wonderful job showing the vastness and desperation of the girl's journey, his blended watercolors of the snow and trees adding eloquence to the experience. VERDICT A heartwarming adventure about helping others, best shared one-on-one to pore over the engaging images.—Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.