Rose Wolves

Top Shelf. (Rose Wolves Bk. 1). Nov. 2023. 80p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781603095310.
Gr 4 Up–On a summer day in June, a young girl with a residual limb explores the woods around her home and comes upon a bush from which she plucks a rose to take back home. When night falls, the light from a full moon shines onto the rose and a young wolf who is missing a limb appears. But as night turns back into day and the moonlight fades, the wolf’s rose petal tail indicates it may not survive for long far from home, and so together, they begin their journey back through the woods to the rose bush the wolf grew from. Broken into seven short but charming chapters and an epilogue, the wordless story (apart from a handwritten note to the protagonist from her mother) relies on gestures, expressions, and limited use of simple iconography in word balloons to successfully convey conversation. The tale makes use of a monochromatic color scheme, with the exception of the wolf, the rose, and the rose bush, all of which are black. The artwork is simple but made more visually dynamic by the use of varied panel counts and shapes on each page, as well as hatching and shading in the various shades of its Merlot coloring.
VERDICT A fast, delightful, and approachable read that brings fantasy to young readers. Recommended.

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