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Pickle Me This

September 29, 2011

Our Best Book from this week's library haul: Wolves by Emily Gravett

We love Emily Gravett at our house– Monkey and Me, Orange Pear Apple Bear, Meerkat Mail, Dogs, Spells— but her Wolves was never on the library shelf, though I looked for it week after week. Turns out because it was on the older readers library shelf, probably because it’s another book in which a rabbit gets devoured (hi Jon Klassen! Don’t worry. You’re all working in the Beatrix Potter tradition. Everything will be fine…). We read it a few times, then Harriet decided it would join the realm of “too scary”, but then we got the new Chirp in the mail, which does a profile of wolves including baby ones (this is key. No such thing as a scary baby), and so now we love wolves and Wolves, and Emily Gravett’s good book is back in ours.

The poor bunny (who’s not so innocent, I think. Surely, he’s a hat thief) takes a book out of the library to learn about wolves (and Gravett gives us an images of the end papers from the rabbit’s book with the date-due slip and the checkout card that actually comes out of the book, and even though ours is a library book (yes, a library book with a library book inside it– trippy), nobody’s lost it yet– magic!). He’s got his nose in the book through the rest of this book, making the mistake that’s as old as literacy, thinking that books will tell you all you need to know. Not necessarily. Not if, for example, you’re so enthralled in your wolf education that you walk right in the path of a wolf’s 42 sharp teeth.  As you’re reading about how wolves eat many different animals including…  rabbits.

Gravett includes a disclaimer– no rabbits were injured, the book is only fiction. And then “for more sensitive readers”, she gives us an alternate ending in which bunny and wolf become fast friends and share a sandwich. The end. But the final page, with a pile of the bunny’s unopened mail (including a letter from the library– Wolves is overdue) suggests that all might not be well after all in the land of bunny. But I took care not to point that out to Harriet.

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