Author: Valérie Fontaine, transl. Shelley Tanaka
Illustrator: Nathalie Dion
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2021, org 2020 in French
Themes: family violence, domestic violence, wolves
Opening: see image below
Summary: (from the publisher) The young girl tells us that her mom’s new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf’s cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn’t smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl’s arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room. How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce? Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope.
I like this book because: it’s so important, and it’s been written and illustrated simply, clearly and with such thoughtfulness – for readers who can identify as well as readers who may not. Especially knowing the level of hidden domestic violence has risen due to the pandemic, I feel it’s more important than ever to address the topic. I also know from people I’ve met serving my neighbors experiencing homelessness that 50% of homeless women are domestic violence victims. I will definitely be donating a copy to a local school.
Resources/activities: easy – read the book!
For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.