What's the Time, Mr. Wolf?

Overview

Mr. Wolf salivates over his tasty-looking barnyard friends and plans an elaborate dinner party for them. When the farm animals ask, "What's the time, Mr. Wolf?" he sends them scurrying off to gather ingredients for a special meal. But will they be guests or the dinner itself? Readers will screech with delighted terror as they realize how the clever old wolf is involving the animals in their own demise . . . or is he? Charmingly detailed illustrations decorate this new peephole book from Carol Jones. Every other ...

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Overview

Mr. Wolf salivates over his tasty-looking barnyard friends and plans an elaborate dinner party for them. When the farm animals ask, "What's the time, Mr. Wolf?" he sends them scurrying off to gather ingredients for a special meal. But will they be guests or the dinner itself? Readers will screech with delighted terror as they realize how the clever old wolf is involving the animals in their own demise . . . or is he? Charmingly detailed illustrations decorate this new peephole book from Carol Jones. Every other page gives the reader a glimpse of what comes next as Mr. Wolf plans a feast with a surprise main course.

In this story based on a school-yard game, the farmyard animals ask Mr. Wolf what time it is, while he tries to lure them to come that evening to a very special meal. At various points, a peep-hole allows a glimpse of the next illustration.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Children will know from the start of the book that Mr. Wolf is up to no good. After all, if he's really just inviting his barnyard friends to dinner, why is he so focused on the "chubby legs" of the sheep or the "firm flanks" of the goat? Perhaps Rooster and his friends should think twice about getting the "cookery" books Mr. Wolf requests. Every two hours a new friend arrives, asks Mr. Wolf the time, and is instructed to get another item for the meal. The cheerful, well-detailed silliness of the illustrations will prevent even the smallest child from being scared, as Mr. Wolf enlists the help of his oblivious friends in preparing his "special dinner." Cleverly placed peepholes give kids a hint of what's coming up in the next illustration, and the final page shows that the animal guests weren't quite as clueless as they seemed. The chance to use a variety of barnyard voices and the humorous plot will make this a natural for reading aloud.
Booklist, ALA
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Australian author and artist Jones here pits the wiles of a hungry wolf against a host of unsuspecting barnyard animals whom he invites to a "VERY special meal." Unbeknownst to the dinner guests, but quickly apparent to readers, is the fact that the animals themselves are the entrees. One by one, they ask, "What's the time, Mr. Wolf?" A die-cut hole features both the questioner and, with a flip of the page, the question. As the hours tick by toward dinnertime, the scheming wolf asks each animal to pick up the condiment that suits it best (mint sauce from the sheep, oranges from the duck and so on). Meanwhile, the animals frolic the day away at the market, beach and swimming hole. Spry watercolors offer a wealth of details that hint at the wolf's plot: a framed portrait of a turkey dinner hangs above Mr. Wolf's bed, he tucks a book titled "Cooking with Lamb" casually under his arm as he converses with the sheep. Mischievous allusions to other literary wolves include a triptych of porcine photos and an ancestral portrait of a wolf in grandma's clothing. In an anticlimactic ending, when Mr. Wolf finally announces, "It's... DINNER TIME!" he attempts to pounce on his assembled guests, who easily escape to the safety of the barn and party without him (the dejected wolf peers through a window). Though it loses some steam at the end, it's still an enjoyable romp. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jessica Becker
Mr. Wolf is a sneaky character who spends all day, from the rooster's eight o'clock wake-up call until dinner, "planning a VERY special meal" at the expense of his barnyard friends. One by one, the carnivorous Mr. Wolf asks goat, duck, pig, sheep, cow and rooster to run errands, look up recipes, and wash up while he casually prepares for the much-anticipated supper. Little do Mr. Wolf's friends know that they are to be the main course. The illustrations are lively with a peephole window on each page to give the reader a glimpse of what's to come. Readers will be relieved when Mr. Wolf's tricky plan fails and the helpful animal friends escape unharmed. 1999 (orig.
Library Journal
PreS-Despite appealing illustrations and entertaining peepholes, this Australian import is likely to leave American readers at a loss. A series of animals ask Mr. Wolf the time. He replies by telling them the hour and sends them off to get ingredients for dinner that night. The sheep is sent for mint sauce and the cow for hot mustard. Finally, the animals are told it is dinnertime and they all flee. The last page shows them having a party without Mr. Wolf. The plot is minimal and most of the story is carried by the appealing pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork. Other than Mr. Wolf, the animals are a bit on the precious side with rosy cheeks and big smiles. Otherwise, the busy illustrations, while not geared to group sharing, offer much to pore over and the peepholes showing each animal in turn will certainly keep young listeners' attention. Unfortunately, the ambiguousness of the ending will leave children wondering what really happened and how the animals got away.-Amy Lilien-Harper, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395958001
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Born and educated in England, Carol Jones now lives in Australia. She is a full-time author and illusrutor who has given new life to many old favorites.

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