I love a fractured fairy tale. I have amassed quite the collection from Bethan Woollvin's amazing Little Red and Rapunzel to Toby Forward's The Wolf Story and Anthony Browne's Hansel and Gretel. So many of my favourites are actually adaptations of Little Red Riding Hood and The Last Wolf by Mini Grey is now added to that esteemed list. Although, where many of the fractured tales take the original story and appropriate the plot or characters, The Last Wolf has a bigger story to tell with an environmental message about the state of the world's endangered wildlife. Mini Grey is a great storyteller who writes quirky characters and beautifully descriptive language. Her Little Red is a brave huntress who sets out with a popgun to find a wolf of her own. There are no baskets of muffins for this Little Red. She is the hunter is this version of the story and although she is painted as a strong, powerful female, she also has a empathetic side that young readers will fall in love with. WITH . . .
Picture books about lions always end up being my favourites. The Stone Lion, A Lion in Paris, The Snow Lion and now I can add How To Be a Lion to the mighty list. Something to do with all that courage, I guess. Leonard the lion is not your ordinary lion. He would rather daydream and write poetry than do the things that normal lions do. Ed Vere is a master of witty picture books that offer just as much for adults as they do for children. This is a great read aloud text that will amuse any room full of kids with hilarious language and illustrations. However chiefly, it has such a gentle, beautiful message about quiet ones being loud. It will speak to those kids that often wait in the shadows and pause while the rowdiest of us do all the talking. A powerful message that sings to my introverted heart. Although, my absolute favourite part of the book is the sheer jubilance seen on Leonard's face as he scooters past his ducky friend. Brilliant. WITH LITTLE READERS: The obvious . . .