Monday, November 26, 2018

Lost! Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Lost in the snow!

A young girl leaves school just as a snow storm sets in. Head down under her hood, she trudges across a seemingly endless snowfield, until she meets up with a tiny baby wolf, separated from his mother and pack, his little legs sinking deep into the soft new snow. Despite her own obvious struggle with the drifting snowfall, she picks him up and tucks him under her coat and moves on toward her home. The little wolf lets out a small sound.

Howl! Howl!

Then the girl hears an arresting reply:


Fearfully she looks about. She sees that wolves are approaching her, led by Mama Wolf.

The girl tenderly puts the little wolf down so that his mother can carry him back to his pack.

Stumbling, the girl goes on, desperately slogging forward, leaning against the wind until she collapses in the snow. Suddenly, she is surrounded by the wolves.

The little wolf comes up to her and licks her hand, and the other wolves sit down and begin to howl together around her. But she is not afraid. The wolves' howls are answered by her own dogs! She's almost home!


And no one is lost in the snow at last, in Matthew Cordell's Caldecott Award book, Wolf in the Snow (Feiwel and Friends, 2017), a beautiful story of one good deed deserving another. Cordell's wispy, scratchy illustrations portray the bleak wintry snowscape with a spare loveliness that both reinforces and ameliorates the bleak setting, symbolically warmed by the child's bright red cloak. "It's an almost wordless tale which speaks volumes about kindness. The girl's story is a hero's journey, and Cordell tells it with skill and heart," says Publishers Weekly, in its starred review.

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