cover image Wolf Pie

Wolf Pie

Brenda Seabrooke, illus. by Liz Callen, Clarion, $16 (48p) ISBN 978-0-547-04403-3

In this hilarious chapter book, Wilfong the wolf can’t blow down the house that belongs to James, Marvin, and Lester Pygg, so he hangs around until the pigs build him a room of his own—with a latch on their side (“He was reformed, but he was still a wolf”). The characters are well developed, and all four chapters are lively and engaging. On a trip to the beach, Wilfong contends with motion sickness and sunburn, but manages to save the pigs from a riptide. In another chapter he fools a pack of menacing wolves (who look like they stumbled out of West Side Story) that surround the house. Wilfong is so disarmingly amiable that he eventually wins a permanent place in the Pyggs’s hearts and home. Seabrooke’s (Cemetery Street) first-rate dialogue is consistently fresh, and Callen’s (Reading, Rhyming, and ’Rithmetic) watercolors add to the slapstick humor. The story is filled with onomatopoeia ideal for read-aloud (“[T]he wolf’s teeth chattered with cold. Clickety-click! Clickety-clack!”), but it’s the humor in the text and illustrations that will have children laughing and wanting more. Ages 6–9. (June)