Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Wolf at the Door! The Wolf Will Not Come by Myriam Ouyessad

It's bedtime and Mama Rabbit is trying to tuck in Little Rabbit, but the windows are dark and scary. And Little Rabbit seems to have the wolf-at-the-door willies.

"Are you sure the wolf will not come?" he asks.

"There are no more wolves. The hunters have chased them all away!"

But little Rabbit is not so easily convinced. What if one wolf sneaked through the forest and into the woods nearby? What if he were sneaky enough to make his way to the Rabbit's street by pretending to be a dog? What if he dodged all the cars and made his way through the maze of streets to the Rabbits' apartment door?
"He could not get in. The wolf does not know the code to the door," Mama points out.

"Father Pinaud has the code," Little Rabbit persists. "Also, he never notices anything!"

Mama seems to be getting exasperated with all this wily wolf talk. After all, wolves don't take elevators to the fifth floor of apartment buildings.
"Listen, Rabbit," says Mama. "Even if a wolf came up the elevator, he would not get in here. Good night, my rabbit!"

Mama Wolf gives him a final firm kiss, turns off the light, and closes Little Rabbit's bedroom door.

But then there is a knock ...

In Myriam Ouyessad's hilarious tale of a unlikely wolf at the door, The Wolf Will Not Come (Schiffer Publishing, 2019), the wolf turns out to be an expected but early guest to Rabbit's birthday party. Little Rabbit bounces out of his bedroom to open the door and hugs the wolf!
"I was sure you would come!"

All ends well with with an apparently well-planned birthday party, with balloons and banners and a big birthday cake. Author Myriam Ouyessad sets this story up cleverly, with Rabbit and Mama Rabbit pictured, spot-art style,  on the verso pages and the wolf's covert progress from woods through city streets to elevator shown full-page on the recto. Mama Rabbit calmly deadpans all the reasons why a wolf will not find his way to their door, while artist Ronan Badel's illustrations portray the stealthy wolf's progress from woods to party which fill the recto pages. Youngsters will love the closing twist, ending with a beautifully wrapped wolf toy for Rabbit and a hug and big slice of birthday cake for Wolf. A tongue-in-cheek birthday tale that leaves a very sweet taste!

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