What's the Time, Mr. Wolf?

Overview

Mr. Wolf has a busy day. Starting his daily routine at seven o'clock, his schedule is packed from breakfast to bedtime. At nine o'clock the mail arrives, and he goes shopping at noon. Four o'clock is naptime, and surprise! . . . At six o'clock there is a big party in Mr. Wolf 's honor. Special guests include Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, the Cat and the Fiddle and many more characters readers are sure to recognize. Huffing and puffing new life into favorite nursery rhymes, this charming story ...

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Overview

Mr. Wolf has a busy day. Starting his daily routine at seven o'clock, his schedule is packed from breakfast to bedtime. At nine o'clock the mail arrives, and he goes shopping at noon. Four o'clock is naptime, and surprise! . . . At six o'clock there is a big party in Mr. Wolf 's honor. Special guests include Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, the Cat and the Fiddle and many more characters readers are sure to recognize. Huffing and puffing new life into favorite nursery rhymes, this charming story introduces telling time while showing readers that the Mr. Wolf isn't so big or bad after all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the variation on the game of tag that shares its name with this book (better known in the U.S. as “What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?”), children ask the “wolf” for the time, moving closer with each answer until “dinnertime” sends them scrambling. Gliori’s clever riff imagines recognizable fairy tale characters asking Mr. Wolf the time each hour, starting at seven a.m. The answers Gliori’s wolf provides are generally grouchy (“It’s time for bacon sandwiches,” he tells the giggling Three Little Pigs), and with good reason: he believes they have all forgotten his birthday. Although the surprise party plot is familiar, Gliori (The Scariest Thing of All) packs her version with visual and textual allusions and characters children can easily identify. When Mr. Wolf goes to his cupboard for a snack he finds that “even his dish has run off with his spoon!” (oddly, in the accompanying illustration, the former appears to have kidnapped the latter). Gliori’s charming, detailed watercolor-and-ink illustrations add to the story’s humor; her occasional use of silhouette is especially skillful and fun. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Readers check in on Mr. Wolf every hour of his birthday, but it seems like the poor guy just can't catch a break on his special day. Four-and-twenty blackbirds wake him up (at 7 a.m.), asking him the titular question. His grumpy answer? "It's time for blackbird pie." His porcine neighbors keep him from a snooze by slamming their doors on their way to work ("time for bacon sandwiches"). And the day continues in this vein: The letter carrier (a girl in a red hood) skips his house, his cupboard is bare, it rains on the way to the store, and every hour, fairy-tale and nursery-rhyme characters check in on Mr.Wolf, asking him for the time. But readers won't need to ask for the time. A marvelous mix of timepieces is scattered throughout the text and includes analog and digital clocks of all sorts: a sundial, a pocket watch, a wristwatch and a cuckoo clock, among others. By the time the hapless birthday boy is awoken from his nap by a fiddle-playing cat, observant readers will have guessed the "surprise" ending. But the time-telling practice and literary references aren't even the best treasure here. Gliori's watercolor-and-ink illustrations are both detailed and delicately executed, charming and wowing at the same time. There is much to enjoy here, and the illustrations and allusions beg for repeat readings. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A delightful story told from the point of view of Mr. Wolf on his birthday. Four and twenty black birds wake him up at seven o'clock, tweeting, "What's the time, Mr. Wolf?" The three little pigs each slam the doors of their respective houses at eight o'clock, the dish runs away with his spoon at eleven, and the cat and the fiddle disturb Mr. Wolf's nap at four o'clock. Little Red Riding Hood, Hickory Dickory Dock, the baker from patty-cake, the gingerbread man, Goldilocks and the three bears, Humpty Dumpty, and other favorite nursery rhyme characters make an appearance in the text and/or pictures. Mr. Wolf's day is not going well until six o'clock when his friends surprise him with a birthday party. Then, when the stars ask, "What's the time, Mr. Wolf?" there is no response because it's "BEDtime" and Mr. Wolf is fast asleep. Readers familiar with the nursery-rhyme characters will enjoy poring over the lively, stylized watercolor and ink spreads filled with humorous details. The text, with varying font sizes, scans well, and the book pairs nicely with Joe Kulka's Wolf's Coming! (Carolrhoda, 2007).—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802734327
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 348,751
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

DEBI GLIORI is well known for her picture books, including The Scariest Thing of All, Stormy Weather, The Trouble With Dragons, No Matter What, and her Dead Magic series for middle grade readers. Debi lives just outside Edinburgh, Scotland.

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