Monday, September 10, 2018

Wolf In Snow Review




The newest Caldecott winner, Wolf in the Snow, is a wonderful visual narrative that uses a variety of visual image to depict the story of a young girl lost in the snow and helped by wolves to return home safely. 

The book is a traditional home-away-home narrative that depicts the adventures and turmoils of a little girl that wanders out in the snow. The opening of the book has several pages of illustrations that appear before the title page - an interesting thing to point out to young readers! In addition there is an opening and closing image that depicts the family through the portal of a living room window. This portal serves to open the narrative and come the story. 

Delightful images in watercolor and ink create a lovely picturebook worth sharing with young readers.

Here are some reviews of the book on Goodreads 

Some information about the Author-Illustrator:

Matthew Cordell is the Caldecott award-winning author and illustrator of Wolf in the Snow, Trouble GumAnother Brotherhello! hello!, and Wish. He has illustrated numerous books by renowned authors including Philip Stead (Special Delivery), Rachel Vail (the Justin Case series), and Gail Carson Levine (Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems). He lives with his family in Gurnee, Illinois.

Here is the website of the author-illustrator:


Matthew Cordell writing about this book:

Up until WOLF, all of the books I’ve both written and illustrated have started with a story, which has started with a real thing that has happened in my life. My earliest author/illustrator picture books, TROUBLE GUM and ANOTHER BROTHER, were adapted from things that happened in my childhood. And my own children gifted me with the ideas for HELLO! HELLO!, WISH, and DREAM. WOLF IN THE SNOW was a completely different… animal. (I know… sorry.)
WOLF started not with a story, but with a picture I drew. It was not a picture drawn for a story or on any sort of assignment. It was just an image that popped into my head. One that I needed to commit to paper, and would then be done with. It was this:

Naturally, as one does in this day and age, I posted that picture to Facebook. Surprisingly, it got a pretty strong reaction. Most of which were comments like, “I hope this is for a book you’re working on!” It wasn’t, of course, but with that kind of encouragement, I began to wonder if it was something I could elaborate upon. I was inspired enough by the suspense and characters in the drawing to want to know more myself. But I’ve never been good at pulling a complete and well-made story from a single image. So, I was not excited about trying it again. And yet I did. Sort of.
I decided to first try and do some research. I’d drawn a wolf with little to no idea about what wolves were really like. Other than... I thought they were generally malevolent creatures. Wicked and selfish and hungry for anything that got in their way. My idea of wolves was, probably, mostly established by the likes of The 3 Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood. Once I started diving into documentaries and non-fiction texts about wolves, I realized that all of what I thought I knew was completely untrue.