Wednesday, January 2, 2019

January's Book of the Month--Wolf in the Snow

Happy New Year!

January’s Book of the Month is the 2018 Caldecott Medal winner, WOLF IN THE SNOW, by Matthew Cordell.

It’s a cold, snowy day. In parallel storylines, a little girl and a wolf cub both become lost in a snowstorm. When they find each other, the girl helps the wolf, who’s having trouble walking in the snow. She follows the sound of the wolf pack’s howls, and returns the cub to its pack. But now the girl is tired and alone. And even though her dog is barking in the distance, and she can see there are people looking for her, it doesn’t seem like she's going to make it. But then the wolves begin howling, and they lead the search party to the freezing child, so she can be reunited with her family.

There is so much emotion conveyed in this wordless (except for sound’s like huffing, howling, whining and growling) picture book. Even though the girl is bundled up so we can only see her eyes, we always know how she’s feeling. The story, which begins before the title page, proceeds in alternating spreads of child and wolf, until they meet and the two stories are combined. The colors work beautifully. The girl’s red hooded jacket is offset by the green of the trees, and stands out nicely against the golden (before snow) and white (after snow) ground, and also has a primary color thing going with the blue of the sky. Then there are the blacks and purples of the wolves. And lots of watercolor texture. It’s gorgeous, in all its scratchy, expressive glory.

This is a heartwarming picture book that effortlessly depicts the virtues of helpfulness and the kindness of strangers.


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