cover image Wolf Wanted

Wolf Wanted

Ana Maria Machado, , trans. from the Portuguese by Elisa Amado, illus. by Laurent Cardon. . Groundwood, $18.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-88899-880-4

Combining the wildly disparate themes of job hunting and wolves, Hans Christian Andersen Medalist Machado (From Another World ) and Cardon, in his U.S. debut, follow Manny Wolf (a human with the last name Wolf) as he responds to a pile of applications for a job opening for a wolf. In sly, postmodern scenes that recall the work of Emily Gravett, Cardon creates cover letters (as well as Manny's rejection letters) using notebook paper, unsteady handwriting, and human resources stationery. “I am a very famous wolf,” the first application starts. “I have lots of experience convincing people to do what I want, especially small girls walking through the woods by themselves who have sick people waiting for them at home.” Beside the letter, a dozen Red Riding Hoods mob a wolf rock star, who croons into a mike. Letters follow from numerous literary wolves, from “The Three Little Pigs” to The Jungle Book to the fables of Jean de La Fontaine. Children won't recognize them all—some will stump adults—which may make for a frustrating reading experience. An environmentally conscious conclusion, while informative, strikes a disconcertingly serious note. Ages 4–7. (Apr.)