March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell | SLJ Review

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redstarCORDELL, Matthew. Wolf in the Snow. illus. by Matthew Cordell. 32p. Feiwel & Friends. Jan. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250076366.

wolf-in-the-snowK-Gr 2 –In this mostly wordless picture book, a girl gets lost in a snowstorm while walking home from school. At the same time, a wolf pup gets separated from its pack. The girl discovers the pup and carries it through dangerous and icy terrain to reconnect with its pack, and the wolves assist the girl by howling to attract her searching family. Cordell’s artistic approach is a little more free-form than in his past titles. It works well in depicting the twisting trees in the snowstorm but is more challenging to pull off with the characterization of the girl. Yet he succeeds. Only her eyes are visible in her large red triangular parka, with a scarf across her mouth and nose, as she trudges through the snow; there is so much emotion in her eyes that viewers know all that they need to know about this almost comically bundled, shapeless figure. Cordell’s landscapes do a wonderful job showing the vastness and desperation of the girl’s journey, his blended watercolors of the snow and trees adding eloquence to the experience. VERDICT A heartwarming adventure about helping others, best shared one-on-one to pore over the engaging images.–Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2017 issue.