cover image Rabbit and the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf

Rabbit and the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf

Michaël Escoffier, trans. from the French by Grace Maccarone, illus. by Kris Di Giacomo. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2813-7

Comic dialogues about the threat of wolves aren’t new, but this marshmallow-light creation from a French team combines familiar elements (scared rabbit, discussion of the wolf’s threatening features) in a novel way. It’s also blessedly free of snarkiness. An unseen narrator asks a mute white rabbit whether it knows the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf, and the rabbit sketches a wolf with chalk on a blackboard. “No, that is the Big Bad Wolf. The Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf has small ears,” the narrator replies. A page turn reveals the rabbit’s amended drawing: the pointed wolf ears have been erased and stubby ears drawn over them (the smudgy eraser marks eloquently suggest the rabbit’s haste and nervousness). “Yes, the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf looks like that,” the voice says after several more changes that make the wolf look a lot like a girl in a wolf suit, “and here it comes!” The hide-and-seek climax is fine for bedtime reading, and the “wolf,” despite grabbing the scared rabbit by its ears, lives up to its name. Neatly conceived and executed, with lots of giggles. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)