Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Betsy Who Cried Wolf

Betsy Who Cried Wolf

5.0 2
by Gail Carson Levine, Scott Nash (Illustrator)

See All Formats & Editions

On her eighth birthday Betsy takes the Shepherds' Oath and is determined to be the best shepherd in Bray Valley history. Any wolf who tries to eat her sheep had better watch out. But Zimmo is no ordinary wolf—he's a hungry wolf, with a plan!

In her first picture book, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine puts her own spin on a traditional tale,


On her eighth birthday Betsy takes the Shepherds' Oath and is determined to be the best shepherd in Bray Valley history. Any wolf who tries to eat her sheep had better watch out. But Zimmo is no ordinary wolf—he's a hungry wolf, with a plan!

In her first picture book, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine puts her own spin on a traditional tale, while Scott Nash brings a comic sensibility to this hilarious retelling. The result will tickle, delight, and even leave readers with a moral or two, or three....

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Who ever heard of a sheepdog in wolf's clothing? In a delightful twist on the traditional fable, Ella Enchanted author Gail Carson Levine shows that with a little generosity and trust, even the hungriest wolf might not be a bad guy after all.

Newly appointed as shepherd, Betsy promises to be the best one around. But Zimmo, the mountain's last wolf, is ravenous and creates a surefire dinner scheme. Appearing several times and looking deceitful, Zimmo scares poor Betsy into frantically blowing her warning whistle. But when the villagers come running, Zimmo is gone. Eventually, the townsfolk get annoyed with Betsy's cries, and when the wolf pops out to snatch a sheep, they don't show up. Fortunately, though, the clever shepherd has a stash of pies, and she gives some to the famished wolf instead. So grateful to Betsy for her kindness, Zimmo later rescues a few of Betsy's sheep as they near a cliff, and the two form a friendship that results in good herding teamwork.

Children will be howling over Levine's lighthearted tale. Betsy is a spunky heroine whose stick-to-itiveness and quick thinking will have readers in admiration. Scott Nash's (Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp) illustrations are a rollicking complement, adding a wonderfully playful element to the story. Readers won't be sheepish about asking for more of Betsy Who Cried Wolf! (Matt Warner)

Publishers Weekly
For this girl-centric take on The Boy Who Cried Wolf, "Kids may well cheer Betsy's courage and can-do spirit," wrote PW. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
After completing a course in becoming a shepherd, Betsy leads her sheep up the hill. Unknown to her a wily and hungry wolf named Zimmo has a plan to eat some sheep by tricking the villagers into not believing Betsy's cries of wolf. Zimmo is successful in having the villagers believe that Betsy is just playing a joke on them, but also begins to feel sorry for tricking her, as he can tell that she is trying her best. When the time comes to actually eat the sheep Betsy instead shares her lunch with the hungry wolf and he helps her herd the sheep. The villagers realize their mistake and apologize to Betsy. This story takes a lighthearted approach to the traditional fable and teaches that sometimes people should be believed even when the evidence indicates otherwise. The illustrations add to the lightheartedness with an almost comic appeal. 2005, HarperCollins, and Ages 5 to 8.
—Angela Olkey
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In this amusing retelling of the classic fable, eight-year-old Betsy has just taken the Shepherd's Oath. "She was going to be the best shepherd in Bray Valley history. And any wolf who tried to eat her sheep had better watch out!" However, Zimmo, the last wolf left on the mountain, comes up with a plan. He appears to Betsy, causing her to blow her whistle and seek aid, but then disappears when the farmers arrive, destroying her credibility and sending her back to Shepherd School. When she returns to the job and he tries his ruse again, no farmers come when Betsy calls, but she is determined to defend her flock. When she goes to hurl her plate of shepherd's pie at Zimmo, she suddenly realizes how skinny he is, and gives him the food to eat instead. Grateful, he helps the child rescue some of the sheep that are dangling over a precipice, and eventually he, too, takes the Shepherd's Oath and joins her on the hillside. The irony of the fact that the sheep are being saved from wolves so that they may be eaten by people will probably be lost on the intended audience, but the running commentary on events made by the sarcastic and silly sheep will not. Nash's cartoonlike illustrations, with their clean lines, crisp colors, and folk-art touches, add considerably to the story. This pleasant addition could generate discussion when paired with the original tale.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Levine continues her tradition of reworked fairy tales with strong heroines begun with Ella Enchanted (1999) in this delightful tale of a bright young girl who can stand up for herself and the sheep she guards. When Betsy turns eight, she proudly takes the Shepherd's Oath, determined to be the best shepherd ever. Meanwhile, the last wolf on the mountain is hungry, lonely, and devising a plan to have sheep for his next meal. When Zimmo makes his appearance before Betsy and her flock, she blows her whistle and the farmers come running. But the crafty Zimmo has disappeared-part of his master plan. He repeats the show the next day-same deal. Sent back to Shepherd School and given one last chance, she packs her lunch and tends her flock. But there is Zimmo again, and this time he is charging right at them. Blowing her whistle fails to bring any farmers, so Betsy gets ready to hurl her lunch at the wolf, at which point he sits down and howls for food. Realizing that he is just hungry, the crafty heroine feeds him and he leaves the sheep alone. The sheep sum up one of the story's morals quite nicely: unlike the original fairy tale, "People who cry wolf may be deceived and not deceivers." Nash's (The Bugliest Bug, not reviewed, etc.) personified sheep are a stitch-walking on two legs, posing for a dive into the Soakenwetz River, belaying down a cliff, and always commenting on the current state of the story. Especially funny are the endpapers, where readers can eavesdrop on the sheep's conversations. A must-have. (Picture book. 4-10)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

Scott Nash has illustrated many books for children, including Betsy Who Cried Wolf! by Gail Carson Levine, Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields, Over the Moon by Rachel Vail, and Oh, Tucker! by Steven Kroll. He lives with his wife, Nancy, and their dog, Zephyr, in Peaks Island, Maine.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Betsy Who Cried Wolf 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very cute story! Similar to the "Bot who called wolf" story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book!!!!!!!!