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Boy Who Cried Wolf

Boy Who Cried Wolf

4.8 5
by B. G. Hennessy, Boris Kulikov (Illustrator)

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"Nothing ever happens here," the shepherd thinks. But the bored boy knows what would be exciting: He cries that a wolf is after his sheep, and the town's people come running. How often can that trick work, though?
B.G. Hennessy's retelling of this timeless fable is infused with fanciful whimsy through Boris Kulikov's hilarious and ingenious illustrations.


"Nothing ever happens here," the shepherd thinks. But the bored boy knows what would be exciting: He cries that a wolf is after his sheep, and the town's people come running. How often can that trick work, though?
B.G. Hennessy's retelling of this timeless fable is infused with fanciful whimsy through Boris Kulikov's hilarious and ingenious illustrations. This tale is sure to leave readers grinning sheepishly.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hennessy (Claire and the Unicorn Happy Ever After, reviewed below) and Kulikov (Morris the Artist) retell a well-known story with humorous verve. Kulikov slyly sets the scene in a Renaissance Italian landscape. He pictures the shoeless shepherd chewing on a stem; lazy butterflies, birds and dragonflies flit about. Hennessy's conversational style meanwhile brings the 16th-century peasant into present-day focus: " `I am so bored,' he thought. `All day long all I do is watch sheep.....' Munch, munch, munch. Baaaaaaaaaaaaa, answered the sheep." When the dullness overwhelms him, he runs to the village, yelling, "There is a wolf after my sheep!" The townspeople arrive en masse and span several centuries, from a knight to a musketeer to 19th-century city-folk in top hats. "That was a fun afternoon," thinks the shepherd, playing leapfrog with a friend who stays behind. Needless to say, he succeeds a second time, but his third effort (in earnest) fails to draw a crowd. Kulikov depicts the wolves as a fearsome hydra, but the boy's punishment is not too severe; the book ends wordlessly, with a spread revealing that the resourceful sheep have clambered up a tree. Hennessy's economic prose repeats key phrases for emphasis, while Kulikov composes comic close-ups with steep perspectives as the intensity heightens. Their shepherd misbehaves, but he's not so bad-he just wants a little excitement. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Aesop's "The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf" is given new life in this imaginative picture book. The story begs to be read aloud, and the large, colorful, and amusing watercolor-and-gouache paintings are perfect for group viewing. The traditional plot has been expanded to include some catchy refrains: "Munch, munch, munch. Baaaaaaaaaaaaa, answered the sheep," and "They looked everywhere for the wolf. No wolf in the pasture. No wolf on the hill. No wolf in the forest." These sheep have big expressive eyes and play leapfrog and put on blindfolds, and boys ride them. Instead of just one, there are three snarling, famished-looking creatures that finally appear when the shepherd boy cries wolf for a third time. The illustrations show an outlandish village with skyscrapers located on what appears to be a plateau in a landscape that is dotted with conical hills and a funny, discordant mix of townspeople that includes a knight running in his armor, women wearing mesh stockings and high lace boots, one man wearing a top hat and another a helmet with fluffy feathers on the top, one with a musketeer hat, and another a baseball cap. Each one is holding a weapon: the usual rakes and shovels, an umbrella, a baseball bat, and even a barber pole. The story ends with a fanciful twist, and the moral is understood but not included. A clever take on an old favorite.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Never has this favorite tale been told with such animation and charming humor. The shepherd boy is bored, really bored. He tries to teach the sheep tricks, but they aren't interested. He needs excitement so he cries WOLF and everyone comes running; then he cries TWO WOLVES, and the townsfolk run lickety-split to help again. And you know the rest of the story-on his third alarm, no response. Only this time there are THREE HUNGRY WOLVES, and the boy has to hunt all day for his missing sheep by himself. The last spread, wordless, shows the boy searching the pasture while the sheep are stacked up in a tree. Kulikov's inventive watercolor-and-gouache illustrations give "sheepish grins" new dimension, as the expressions on the animals' faces are unabashedly funny. It's the in-your-face angles and perspectives that spin the drama, from the foot-view of the boy picking his nose to sheep-leaping to a pesky fly; even the typeface name, "Uncle Stinky," fits the romp. Kids will cry for repeated readings of this amusing account. Ovine divine-and darn clever. (Picture book/folktale. 4-7)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

B.G. Henessy is the author of more than thirty children's books. For many years she worked as an art director at a major children's book publisher in New York, and now she lives on Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona, with her husbands and sons. Visit her Web site at www.bghennessy.com

Boris Kulikov, a former set and costume designer in St. Petersburg, Russia, was chosen as a Flying Start by Publishers Weekly. He has also illustrated Morris the Artist by Lore Segal, The Perfect Friend by Yelena Romanova, and Carnival of Animals by John Lithgow. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Boy Who Cried Wolf 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I told my son that he was like the boy cried wolf. He had no clue about what I was talking about. This book is a funnier version of the classic tale. The plot is the same, but humorous embellishments have been added to the story. 'I am the most bored boy in the world,' the shepherd says and the picture of the little shepherd is of him picking his nose. For fun he runs into the town yelling, 'Wolf! Wolf! Wolf.' The towns people answer his cries twice but ignore him the third time, when three hungry wolves actually do appear. The ending is cute the sheep end up in a tree rather than a wolf's stomach.
librarychickAC More than 1 year ago
We used this book for a school wide read for the character trait of honesty. B. G. Hennesy has retold the old familiar tale of the boy who cried wolf with wit and charm. Boris Kulikov's amusing and colorful pictures had our students rolling with laughter and the combination provided wonderful discussion points for the tale and the trait of honesty. Well worth
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JackieU More than 1 year ago
Used it as a teaching aid for my Grandson.