With a pinch of the tongue-in-cheek and a pound of perseverance, this droll wolf story is a charmer. When a hungry, nearly penniless itinerant wolf decides to make a meal of some barnyard animals, he finds that they won't even look up from their books. ""This is a farm for educated animals,"" they tell him. The wolf is caught so off guard that he forgets about his appetite and enrolls in school. When he takes his newfound knowledge back to the farm and proudly reads, ""Run wolf! Run!"" the animals go on ""reading their own books, not the least impressed."" Not until the wolf makes repeat visits to the library and buys his own storybook (with his last coins) can he read ""with confidence and passion,"" entrancing the cow, pig and duck with story after story. The foursome decides to travel the world as storytellers, and the endpapers show them reading books to children everywhere. French illustrator Biet fills her fresh watercolors with lively humor and clever characterizations. The wolf, sporting red reading glasses and an orange vest, peruses library books as solemnly as a British don. The cow wears blue sunglasses and a look of contented rapture as she listens to the wolf's tales. The wry humor of both text and illustrations wisely offsets the book's underlying message about the determination needed to learn to read well. All ages. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999 Release date: 03/01/1999 Genre: Children's
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