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Wolf Story (New York Review Collections) Hardcover – September 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: New York Review Collections
  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: NYR Children's Collection (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590175891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590175897
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-6-In this read-aloud version of William McCleery's Wolf Story (Shoe String, 1988), a small boy and a patient father take what began as a perfunctory bedtime story and massage it into a tale of greater proportions. After begging his father for a nighttime tale, Michael supplies his own elements leading to the story of Rainbow, a resourceful, courageous hen. She meets Waldo, a wolf who fits the pattern set by his predecessors of being persistent and threatening but not too bright. Later, the tale is continued at the beach and during car trips. Father, son, and a young friend mold the story to their own liking based on their moods and growing perceptions of what really should happen to these characters. Originally published in 1947, McCleery's story contains rich dialogue. Anthony Heald's expressive reading suggests the appropriate moods, from the father's playfulness at changing those timeworn stereotypes for the fun of it to Michael's intense insistence as he decides who will or will not be eaten. Heald's reading also underscores the father-child relationship as the two engage in shaping this oral masterpiece together. An example is Michael's father's patient, parentlike admonition as to why Michael should say "darn" rather than "damn" even though adults occasionally use it. This story will appeal to listeners who enjoy playing with story elements themselves. Teachers and librarians will find it an attractive selection for those listeners who enjoy a more subtle tale about characters having fun with a story.ANancy L. Chu, Western Illinois University, Macomb
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"For the parent faced with a child consumed with the desire to hear the same story for the zillionth time, especially if it's a story with a wolf in it, joy has come with the reprinting of William McCleery's 1947 classic Wolf Story....I've loved this book for a long time, and it's good enough for a grown-up to read in silent pleasure, but it really springs to life when it's read out loud....Laughing and crying over made-up characters we know are made up, getting a kick out of it, and coming back for more is just one of those weird things humans do. And you can't start them too young." —Alexandra Mullen, B&N Review

“If you can get only one children's book this year, make it William McCleery's 1947 Wolf Story. This "underground classic" finds an inventive and exasperated father telling a wolf story to end all wolf stories (so he hopes) to his inventive and demanding young son. Dramatist McCleery perfectly captures the irritation, affection, tricks, admiration, and sheer surprise that pass back and forth between parent and child in everyday family life. It is in similar improvisational exchanges that we-adults and children-learn how to love.” —Commonweal
 
“’You can kill the wolf at the very end, but this way we can have more story,’ said Michael. The laughing child who listen will agree, for Wolf Story simply has to last forever. It is easy to imagine, from the natural conversational cadences and the impromptu unfolding of episodes, that the writing was no feat. But here is a little wok of art, funny, tender and captivating. To Warren Chappell, whose cleverly scratchy pen draws Rainbow and Waldo, Wolf Story also owes its attractive format.” —The New York Times
 
“There is an air of distinction to this book. It is a pleasure to have and to read. One parent told me that if she were to compile a list of ‘books for sitters’ (and wouldn’t that be helpful?), this book would lead all the rest.” —Christian Science Monitor
 
“This charming book, perfect for reading aloud at bedtime, was first published in 1947. It's about Michael, an engaging 5-year-old, and his father, and the story Michael orders his father to tell about a hen the boy names Rainbow and Waldo, a rather foolish wolf.” —The New York Times
 
Wolf Story had been out of print for a decade. I had loved it in the 1960s and so had the 6- and 7-year-olds to whom I read it over the course of a month. I still enjoy it. The story-within-a-story technique, peppered with dialogue, is used to good effect. Adults reading this aloud will recognize themselves. Children will, of course, identify with Michael's determination to mold the story to his taste. In the end though, Wolf Story is a celebration of a happy father-son relationship.” —St. Petersburg Times
 
Wolf Story is tough-minded, without sentiment and very clever. It may well have been this cleverness that split the reviewers down the middle when the book was first issued in 1947. However, in the laboratory test our 9-year-old loved it.” —The New York Times
 
Wolf Story will captivate both parent and child as a father regales his 5-year-old son at bed time with tales of a fierce wolf, the hen he wanted to eat, and the farmer who wanted to shoot the wolf. Interruptions—by enthusiastic son Michael add to the fun. So do Warren Chappell’s raffish pictures.” —Chicago Tribune

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Customer Reviews

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I obtained a copy of this book and I'm so glad I did.
Evelond@aol.com
The only problem with reading this book out loud to a child is you won't be able to get through it, because you will both be laughing so hard.
Steve Alcorn
I strongly recommend this book to every child and to every adult who enjoys reading to their children at bedtime.
Susan K. Chrisinger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was introduced to this book through the Chinaberry catalog and my two sons, ages 4 and 6, laughed themselves sick while I was reading them aloud. We've lent it to everyone in the neighborhood, too. My kids love the zany story Michael's father tells and are as eager as Michael for the story to just GO ON! As a parent who's been in the father's position, trying to come up with a creative story off the cuff when I am tired, too--I loved the realistic parent-child relationship depicted in the book. VERY highly recommended! We've read it over & over. It's slender, so on the pricey side for a hardback, but worth it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Chrisinger on October 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Every year I read Wolf Story to my second graders and at the end of the year when I ask them their favorite chapter book read to them, Wolf Story is chosen every year to be the favorite. They love to follow the adventures of Rainbow and Michael. When you complete Chapter 1, the kids are hooked. They can not wait for the next day. I have even had kids who have been sick ask if I can re-read a chapter that they missed or if they can stay in at recess to read the missed chapter on their own.
Wolf Story is wonderfully written and captivating to young children. Every year I can not wait to read the book. I find myself anxious to share the next chapter.
When my own children have children, Wolf Story will be the book that I can share with them. I strongly recommend this book to every child and to every adult who enjoys reading to their children at bedtime.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey N. Peterson on April 19, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
This is a story within a story about a boy who loves, even nags, his father to tell him tales. The father feigns resistance but always relents. He goes on to tell a long story in several sittings about a hen named rainbow, the wolf who tries to eat her, and the clever young boy who saves rainbow and catches the wolf.
Not only is the story line amusing and entertaining but Anthony Heald, who reads the story on the audiobook version, does an incredible job of changing voices and acting out characters an an engaging way.
My two boys who are ages 5 and 7 absolutely love this. We read hundreds of kids books and this one really stands out. We rarely buy audiobooks but in this case its well worth it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maria S. Jolley on May 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the BEST read aloud book bar none. I never get tired of reading it to children and I have never met a child that did not love it. If you buy only one book to read to your child this year make this that one book. I am so glad to see it available again after being out of print for so long.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JanetN3952@aol.com on November 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
My favorite book as a child. My father read it to my brother and then to me, in chapters much like Michael's father tells him the story, until we were old enough to read it to him. It's so much a fairy tale but, at the same time, Michael's father loving him so much he creates this wonderful story off the top of his head combined with the father's slight impatience or perhaps the father and son's different priorities make it believable. The under-his-breath sarcasm/innuendo in the father's voice adds a little reality check for parents reading the book to their children. I am constantly on the look-out for this book so I can share it with my grandchildren (since I won't let go of my only copy) and my friends' children. I thought it was out of print and can't believe my good fortune in finding not only a printed copy, but an audiobook as well. I think this is the first thing in my childhood that really showed it was okay to think "outside the box". I could probably stand to re-read it more often to remind me of that early lesson and it's a good lesson for kids, too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a nearly perfect read-out-loud book. I have shared this book several times with my daughters (now 10 and 12). I am looking forward to the time when I can begin to read it aloud to my three year old son. The story within the story (the struggle between the Wolf, Rainbow and the heroic farmer boy Jimmy) effortlessly keeps the children involved. The external story (the father and son inventing the animal adventure tale over several days) makes me laugh out loud with its sly humor and insight; the boy's missing shoe gets me every time. It's great to see that a reprint edition is available again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Wolf Story was one of the first read-aloud chapter books that really hooked my five year old son in to listening. William McCleery wrote this short tale with keen insight into the mind of young boys and what excites them. The story is funny, interesting, and ends much too quickly. Children are able to recognize themselves in the typical parent/child exchanges. The book also serves to preserve an innocence and purity in the imagination and experience of childhood. My son Gabriel and I urge you to read Wolf Story together with your children as soon as possible. You won't be sorry!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LN Phillips on August 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It's a tough business to tell a child a favorite story again, and again, and again, both for the storyteller who's tired of telling it and for the child who has, like a true die-hard fan, grown into a very devoted yet demanding critic. The story must be told "just-so", exactly the same way it's been told before and at the same time fresh, new, and even better than ever. Wolf Story is a story about telling a story, and both a parent and their child will recognize themselves in 5-year-old Michael and his father as they share the ritual bedtime story, a story about a very nasty wolf named Waldo. Little Michael seems to "know" the story even before he's heard it, but he isn't altogether conscious of this. He knows it much better than the tale's storyteller/author, his father, and isn't shy at all offering suggestions when his father doesn't tell it right.
Guaranteed this clever book will have you both laughing out loud at times, but I was also very pleased to find an amusing children's book that manages to operate at different levels without the wisecracking or cynical tone so common in children's literature now. Children can easily see the story from the point of view of the father, of little Michael, the scary wolf and the little farmer boy, Jimmy, who stands up to him. This makes the story all the more delightful for them. What a treat!
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