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Wolves Hardcover – August 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 1-3–This imaginative, cleverly designed story unfolds in a delectable blend of spare text and eloquent multimedia illustrations. A textured welcome mat serves as background for title and publisher information, the pages feel somewhat scratchy, and the wolves are expressively drawn with charcoal pencil. In the story, Rabbit borrows Wolves by Emily Grrrabbit from the West Bucks Public Burrowing Library and leaves with his nose already stuck in the red book. His long, wavy ears ooze movement. The author ingeniously develops her story on two levels: children will absorb the information that the rabbit is reading–An adult wolf has forty-two teeth–but also enjoy the suspenseful tale of what is happening to the rabbit as he walks along. As a real wolf becomes gradually more threatening, Rabbit becomes progressively smaller. Expressive illustrations show him obliviously walking up a bushy tail onto the back, and then the snout, of a wolf; but it is the uh-oh expression on his face as he slowly realizes that he is in trouble that is so piercingly vivid. The following page depicts a partially eaten book, and no rabbit. However, the author then reassures readers that no rabbits were eaten during the making of this book and thoughtfully provides an alternative ending for sensitive children. This delightful picture book is best shared with children who can appreciate the sly humor.–Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The story couldn't be simpler: a rabbit borrows a book about wolves from the Public Burrowing Library. Lost in the pages of his good book as he strolls home, the rabbit fails to recognize that he has encountered the real thing--an honest-to-goodness, knife-and-fork-wielding, big bad you-know-what. But not to worry. This is a postmodern picture book that has fun with narrative convention; there's an alternate ending, accompanied by playful interjections from the author-illustrator (who bills herself as "Emily Grrrabbit" on the title page). Wolves is a long way from being The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, but it's a bit of a lark for younger readers and listeners, and its sly celebration of libraries and reading is a treat for older ones. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; F First American Edition edition (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416914919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416914914
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Right off the bat I want to make something perfectly clear. I am going to give away the ending of this picture book and I'm going to give it away repeatedly. I'm going to talk at length as to the implications of what the ending means, how that ending fits into the larger scheme of children's book publishing today, and whether the ending is, in fact, any good at all. So if you like surprises in your books for the preschool set, consider eschewing this review. I'm painting a great big SPOILER ALERT here in bright red shiny letters, each syllable capped off with flickering lights and vaguely carnivalian music.

All set? Right-o. Now, I think I first heard about "Wolves" through the children's librarian grapevine. You know. The one where you hear someone say at a staff meeting, "Have you seen this book called `Wolves'?" I actually saw the book one-on-one in a bookstore, though, and it's no secret as to why I picked it up. It has an infinitely appealing cover. Pure white with just a fuzzy bunny, pointy nose held high and the straightforward black font of the word WOLVES above the tasteful maroon of the author's name. So I picked it up, gave it the old look-see, and found that it was like nothing I'd perused this year.

A rabbit goes to his local "burrowing" library to check out a book on wolves. While walking home he starts to read about those wild and wily animals. It turns out that wolves can survive in lots of places and that they can have forty-two teeth. As the rabbit reads facts like these, nose planted firmly in his book, he doesn't see that the characters in his story have seemingly stepped off the page. Wolves follow the bunny everywhere until, in a final moment of jeopardy, we see only the book that our hero was reading, torn and slashed to bits.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Big bad wolves. We all know they're out there. Right? There's no denying it. So if you go to the Burrowing Library to check out a book on wolves, you do know to look right and left on your way home. Look behind you. Keep a 360 going because wolves are known to sneak up on you.

Tell that to our Bunny. You know how they are--they like to be scared! What's the scariest? Wolves. Bunny checks out a book simply called "Wolves." Wow, they look so real on the pages! Bunny, look behind you--a wolf got out and is in his Granny clothes. Bunny, look out, he's part of those trees just ahead. Bunny, you're walking on his feet. Please look up.

Until it is too late. The jagged tears on the book cover, the chewed ends show us the truth. The torn-out piece of paper with one word: Rabbits. We tried to warn the Bunny. But here's a note from the author: No rabbits were harmed in the creation of this book. And for sensitive children, here is an alternative ending: Torn out pieces from the book re-fit, cubist style, to recreate the new ending. Bunny and Wolf having a jam sandwich. Only a comatose child couldn't figure out that this is really just a fake ending. Besides, look at all the stacked up over-due notices lying at Bunny's door--unread.

When I finished reading this to my great-niece, Carolina, she gasped audibly, jerked her head toward me, scrunched up her face the way she does, and said, "Let's read another book." So much for alternate endings for sensitive children.

"Do you know what happened to the Bunny?"
"Yes, he got ate!"
"Does that bother you, Carolina?"
"No, Aunt Judy. It's a book. Silly!"

She's four. I'm way older. It bothered me.

Note: Actually, I love this wildly creative book!
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Format: Hardcover
Emily Gravett, Wolves (Simon and Schuster, 2006)

Wolves was an award winner overseas before finally getting published here in America, and it's easy to see why. This is a brilliant little book, funny and informative and supremely disgusting no matter what your moral stance. It's a must, especially if you've got kids.

A rabbit borrows a book on wolves (written, in true meta fashion, by Emily Grrrabbit) and reads it on his way home from the library, so absorbed that he never notices that the path has hanged under his feet as he's walking. It's the subtle things that make the first part of the book wonderful, like the way the rabbit's size decreases on every page as the danger gets greater and greater. Then comes the ending (and the alternate ending; the very idea of including an alternate ending in a kids' book is itself hysterical), and Gravett abandons the subtlety for slap-in-the-face humor that's actually funny.

I know I've said it many times in the last couple of years, as I've reviewed kids' books, but I'll say it again here: if most adult books were as well put together as the kids' books I've been running across, I'd have a lot less reason to be turning to kids' books to get a breath of fresh air. It often seems that the quality of kids' books these days is, on average, higher than that of adult books, which is truly depressing. But if you know where to look, you can mine the vein of kids' books for pure gold, and you find it in Emily Gravett. ****
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw this book at my local library one day after story time and gave it a read. I was horrified and utterly appalled at this story, yet it made me laugh harder than I've laughed in a while. After I finished it, I immediately knew I had to buy it for my sister who has a dry, dark sense of humor. We've had a longstanding joke about how she loves wolves which can be vicious and ferocious while I love sweet, cuddly, innocent rabbits so this book was the perfect gag gift for her birthday.
Oh yes, my sister happens to be 28 years old so this book was age-appropriate for her, while I chose NOT to read it to my 2 year old, who doesn't quite understand all about the great circle of life yet.
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