When a spoiled Little Wolf pooh-poohs his Lamburger and Sloppy Doe dinner, Father Wolf dreamily recalls a true delicacy. There was a time when a clever wolf could snatch a shepherd boy off a hill, he muses, leaning back in his overstuffed easy chair. Why, there was nothing better than a steaming plate of Boy Chops... and some Boys-n-Berry Pie. He and Mother Wolf promise to cook the first boy their finicky son can find. Thereafter, Little Wolf teases his nostalgic parents by yelling, Boy! Boy! for kicks. By the time Little Wolf spies a dozen plump Scouts hiking through the forest, his folks don't believe him anymore. Hartman (Bible Bad Guys) names many storybook meals, including Three-Pig Salad (with bricks, straw and sticks) and Granny Smith Pie, but never explains why boys are such an elusive quarry. Raglin (The Thirteen Days of Halloween) pictures the wolves as rustic homebodies in old-fashioned clothes, and Little Wolf as a prankster in short pants. His fine-line pen-and-ink illustrations, which have the dense crosshatching of woodcuts, seem immobile despite the keyed-up activity. This glib reversal of The Boy Who Cried Wolf has its slapstick moments, but can't top Jan Fearnley's Mr. Wolf books for sinister hijinks. Ages 5-up. (May) Fiction Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 1-3-In this fractured Aesop's fable, Little Wolf longs for "boy" for supper rather than his mother's usual fare: Lamburgers, Sloppy Does, and Muskratatouille. When his parents promise that if a boy shows up, they'll track him down and cook him, Little Wolf puts it to the test right away by calling, "Boy!" which achieves the desired result of ruining dinner two nights in a row. His parents catch on and decide to ignore their son just as a pack of Boy Scouts shows up, with one even invading the den, much to Little Wolf's despair. Hartman's spare storytelling style is enhanced by Raglin's textured pen and colored-ink illustrations that are packed with nifty details: Little Wolf's high-tops, the wolf emblem on the scouts' flag, and the decor of the wolf den. A fun twist on a traditional tale.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The traditional tale gets turned upside down in this hilarious new version. Little Wolf is sick of the meals his mother makes each night. No matter how good her lamburgers or sloppy does, he can't help wondering why the wolf family doesn't eat Boy anymore. Father explains that Boy is just getting too hard to find, but that if Little Wolf ever sees one, his parents would be happy to catch it and cook it for him. On the way home from school, the odor of Three-Pig Salad inspires Little Wolf to hatch a devious plan. He runs home, yelling "Boy" all the way. His parents fruitlessly search all evening, and just as he'd planned, the dinner is ruined and the family ends up eating snacks instead. The same happens the following night. But then Little Wolf slips up-Father overhears him bragging about what he had done to a friend on the telephone. Father and Mother make a pact to ignore him the next evening. Unbeknownst to the little family, though, a Boy Scout troop just happens to be hiking through the woods. Try as he may, Little Wolf just can't get his parents to pay him any attention, even though he is finally being truthful. Little Wolf's high-top sneakers and hat, along with a sour look on his face, give him a little devil look that fits the storyline perfectly. Meanwhile, his parents are impeccably dressed-Father in button shoes, vest, bowtie, and bowler, Mother in a long dress and frilly apron. Pen-and-ink drawings are wonderfully detailed, especially in the big "chase" scene-the facial expressions really make the story and the illustrations come together. Bigger laughs and more detail than the original, along with the time-honored message that truthfulness pays, make this a wonderfuladdition to any fairy-tale collection. (Picture book. 4-8)