FICTION

Wilfred

illus. by author. 32p. Dial. Mar. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3732-7.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 3—In this offbeat story, a lonesome, furry giant visits an unusual town inhabited by people without a "single hair on their heads. Not even the ladies." Wilfred wants a friend, but he scares everyone away except for one brave boy. The odd duo have fun playing the ukulele and reenacting the Battle of Waterloo. With winter approaching, the townspeople hatch a nasty plan to stay warm. They decree that if Wilfred wants to visit, "he'd have to stop being big… or to stop being hairy." Of course, the only way for him to stop being hairy is to let the townsfolk cut off his hair. After spotting new wigs on his neighbors' heads, the boy grows suspicious. A snowstorm heading to Wilfred's cave puts the boy in danger, but the giant protects him. Remorseful, the townspeople sew all of their wigs into a "big hairy suit" for the hero, with a handy zipper down the middle. Wilfred is a gentle, endearing character. Higgins's affecting, digitally enhanced cartoon illustrations show the ostracized, shaven, and shorn creature huddled alone in his cave, warming himself by a fire as the boy races to bring him extra-large mittens made out of blankets. A heartening tale of friendship.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

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