The Wolf in Underpants Freezes His Buns Off by Wilfrid Lupano, illustrated by Mayana Itoiz and Paul Cauuet (9781541586949)
This is the second Wolf in Underpants book. Winter has arrived in the woods and everyone is bundled up to play in the snow, enjoying winter activities, and eating cheese fondue to stay warm. Everyone is having a great time, except the wolf. When he walks through town, he declares “They’re freezing!” Everyone gets worried, because he seems quite angry. So they decide that it must be his feet that are cold and have the owl knit him some socks. When they send a small animal to deliver the socks, the animal disappears. The next day, the wolf is still upset and the town decides he must need a hat. But once again the animal delivering it disappears. Meanwhile, the rumors in town are multiplying and it is decided that the wolf has gone rogue! But when they burst into the wolf’s home, they discover something they never expected.
Originally published in French, this picture book is a fascinating look at privilege and need. It also look deeply at assumptions about those who may be more wolf-like than others and accepting differences. That is all packaged in a book that is packed with humor and plenty of witty asides. Younger readers will realize the villagers are making a mistake with their decisions, but still won’t quite be certain what the wolf is up to either. It’s a wonderful dynamic of the story and really makes the book a page turner right to the end.
The illustrations are done in a mix of picture book pages and graphic novel frames. The pages are filled with animals talking, huge stores of food and marvelous details of things like the bakery and cheese factory. The illustrations are detailed and create a vibrant village for readers to explore.
A great picture book about privilege, prejudice and kindness. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Lerner.