Big Wolf & Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illustrated by Olivier Tallec

Big Wolf lived all alone at the top of a hill under a tree.  But then one day, Little Wolf came and stayed under Big Wolf’s tree.  The two wolves didn’t talk, but they watched each other.  When night fell, Big Wolf shared a small corner of his leaf blanket with him.  In the morning, Little Wolf climbed the tree following Big Wolf and did exercises together.  Big Wolf shared his meal with Little Wolf but still never talked with him.  Big Wolf headed out for his walk, looking back and seeing Little Wolf get smaller and smaller in the distance.  When he returned to the tree though, Little Wolf was gone.  Big Wolf was shocked, astounded to find that he missed Little Wolf deeply.  So what is a lone wolf to do when he finds himself to be more of a LONELY wolf?

Brun-Cosme has created a picture book with a unique feel. Her wording is simple and almost bare.  It is through that very minimalist writing that the emotions are really clear and powerful.  It is also a format that works well for a lone wolf and his simple life.  Tallec’s art is different here than in some of his other work (like Rita and Whatsit).  He uses paint to create a world of open fields and wide skies, but plays with color to make it a world in a vivid palette of pinks, yellows, blues, and greens.  This depth of color and strong lines make the illustrations a foil for the simple words. 

This book speaks to the lonely of us, the confused, the awkward.  It is a picture book that every child will understand whether they have been Little or Big.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.