Sunday, January 16, 2011
A few posts back, I wrote about a favorite thrift store find, Little Brown Bear by Elizabeth Upham. Pippi casually asked if a wolf had shredded the cover. As I mentioned, that was a reference to another book, Wolves by Emily Gravett. Wolves, a current favorite with Pippi, is a book that I often find her with in a lighted corner, thumbing through the pages. With spare text, Pippi can with very little help read Wolves on her own from start to finish. But although the text is spare, the illustrations simple, the book is deceptively clever. The ending, like the wolf, snuck up on me.
But I'll back up and begin with the first page.
The book begins with Rabbit taking out a book, entitled Wolves, from the West Bucks Public Burrowing Library. Rabbit, eager to begin reading, sticks his nose in the book and sets off.
So absorbed in his reading, he does not notice when a wolf steps right off the page.
And begins to follow him through town.
It is not until he stands squarely in front of the wolf's snarl that Rabbit realizes he has a problem.
I'm afraid Rabbit, and the book, meet with a bad end. Actually, the author includes a page for squeamish readers, assuring that no rabbits were eaten in the making of the book. Ms. Gravett also provides an alternate ending in which the wolf and Rabbit share a jam sandwich and all is bliss.
I held my breath on the first reading of this. I hadn't screened it first and I was prepared for the burst of emotion, the tears, the wailing, when it became apparent that the hapless bunny had been eaten. I paused for a moment before turning past the clawed book page, and read the bit about the jam sandwich.
And you know what my little stinker said?
I liked the first ending better.
Yeah! It was way funnier!
We have to read Wolves two or three times a day. And she never lets me read the alternate ending. For her, the book ends when Rabbit dies.