Rabbit and the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf

Overview

No wonder Rabbit is so scared! The Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf is on the prowl. Rabbit draws a terrifying picture of the Big Bad Wolf on the blackboard. The Wolf appears and tears after the frightened Rabbit, who tries to hide but to no avail. At the end, the wolf provides a delightful surprise.

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Overview

No wonder Rabbit is so scared! The Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf is on the prowl. Rabbit draws a terrifying picture of the Big Bad Wolf on the blackboard. The Wolf appears and tears after the frightened Rabbit, who tries to hide but to no avail. At the end, the wolf provides a delightful surprise.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Pamela Paul
…original…Working with charcoal and muted watercolors, Di Giacomo infuses her pictures with humor and feeling in a story that may confuse at first but will charm in the end.
Publishers Weekly
Comic dialogues about the threat of wolves aren’t new, but this marshmallow-light creation from a French team combines familiar elements (scared rabbit, discussion of the wolf’s threatening features) in a novel way. It’s also blessedly free of snarkiness. An unseen narrator asks a mute white rabbit whether it knows the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf, and the rabbit sketches a wolf with chalk on a blackboard. “No, that is the Big Bad Wolf. The Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf has small ears,” the narrator replies. A page turn reveals the rabbit’s amended drawing: the pointed wolf ears have been erased and stubby ears drawn over them (the smudgy eraser marks eloquently suggest the rabbit’s haste and nervousness). “Yes, the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf looks like that,” the voice says after several more changes that make the wolf look a lot like a girl in a wolf suit, “and here it comes!” The hide-and-seek climax is fine for bedtime reading, and the “wolf,” despite grabbing the scared rabbit by its ears, lives up to its name. Neatly conceived and executed, with lots of giggles. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Do you know the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf?" the text asks Rabbit. Rabbit attempts to draw the wolf, but his chalk sketch of that wolf is corrected piece-by-piece, page-by-page: smaller nose, ears, teeth, and long hair. And suddenly, "...here it comes!" "I smell rabbit!" it says, to terrified Rabbit, who runs away to try to find a hiding place. To his, and our surprise, the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf turns out to be a girl in a bear costume. And when Rabbit is caught, all he gets is a big hug! It takes double-page spreads with light gray textured walls and darker floor to display a comic, bulbous white rabbit with skinny, floppy ears, as he draws chalk pictures on a framed blackboard. Created with mixed media in a blend of traditional and computerized techniques, Rabbit manages to express appropriate emotions as he changes his drawing and is finally frightened by the image of the costumed girl. There is more comedy in the depiction of his hiding places, including his leaving a few rabbit droppings. The final scene of girlish delight in the hugging of the puzzled rabbit makes for a happy ending. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—Rabbit is asked if he knows the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf. When he draws a picture for the unseen narrator, he is told that the ears are too big. The same goes for the nose and teeth. With each new description, Rabbit alters his chalk drawing until he hears that the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf is coming, and that it smells rabbit! Hide, Rabbit! A ball won't do the trick, and neither will a stack of books. But when the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf catches Rabbit, it gives him an unexpected, happy surprise. The large, bold, mixed-media illustrations are pleasing to the eye. Di Giacomo's minimalist depiction of Rabbit is charming, and her raw style is appealing. A satisfying story that children will enjoy and most likely will want to read over and over again.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
Kirkus Reviews
An unseen narrator slyly frightens a rabbit by describing the not-very-wolflike characteristics of an approaching wolf. Readers peer across a tabletop at a rabbit cowering behind the other side. "Tell me, Rabbit. Do you know the Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf?" asks the narrator, who seems positioned in the same place as readers. Ever silent, Rabbit draws a Big Bad Wolf on a wall-mounted blackboard while the narrator urges corrections: Not-So-Big-Bad Wolf has smaller ears, smaller nose, smaller teeth and longer hair than a Big Bad. Rabbit draws each change, while the rubbed-out chalk lines remain nicely visible too. Suddenly, "here it comes!" The chalk likeness appears decidedly un-lupine at this point, yet the rabbit flees in terror. Wolf approaches from the left of the page, showing only claws; Rabbit bounds to the right, diving behind a ball--"Not there. The wolf can see your ears"--and then a pile of books--"Not there. The wolf can see your tail." The "wolf," when it appears, is pretty benign, and the recently screaming-and-running rabbit reverts to expressionlessness. Escoffier's story demonstrates that things may be less frightening than they seem; however, edginess seeps in through Di Giacomo's rough scribble-style lines on rustic, pulpy paper, blank backgrounds that spotlight the chase, the wolf-suited (Max-like) child's grasp on the rabbit's ears, and some excremental evidence (recurring on the endpapers) of the rabbit's real fear. In offering three distinct viewpoints, this curious piece makes a splendid conversation-starter. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823428137
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 837,013
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michaël Escoffier has written many books for children that are published all over the world. He lives in Lyons, France.

Kris Di Giacomo was born in Brazil and lived briefly in the United States before settling in France. She has illustrated more than twenty books for children, some of which she has also written.

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