Wolf Girl

Frances ­Lincoln. Jan. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780711249578.
K-Gr 3–Sophy feels most at home in her bedroom “den” where she can wear her beloved wolf suit and feel fierce, strong, fast, and “maybe a little brave” like a wolf. After she is ridiculed for wearing the costume to school one day, she returns home to magically find herself in the snowy woods with a real mother wolf and her cub. Faced with danger, Sophy finds the strength to embrace her fears, and also finds kindness. When she returns to school the next day, she summons up the courage to make a friend. The gentle wisdom of this story will speak to anyone struggling with notions about fitting in, and remind readers that reaching out to another is in itself an act of bravery. Luminous illustrations in soft natural tones enhance the moods of each scene—from the gray angles of the city to the varied textures of the trees in the forest. Sophy’s wolf friends have warm, friendly facial expressions; even the scary brown bear is shown as more surprised and hurt than threatening. Pair this book with Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are to inspire a thoughtful discussion. Sophy is white, and her classmates are various races and ethnicities.
VERDICT Highly recommended for exceptional artwork and a loving and imaginative depiction of a girl overcoming her fears.

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