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LET’S PLAY IN THE FOREST WHILE THE WOLF IS NOT AROUND by Claudia Rueda

LET’S PLAY IN THE FOREST WHILE THE WOLF IS NOT AROUND

By Claudia Rueda (Author) , Claudia Rueda (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-439-82323-4
Publisher: Scholastic

Inspired by a circle game she fondly remembers from a Colombian childhood, Rueda’s sprightly participatory picture book is ready-made for storytime. Knowing that it is safe to play in the woods as long as Wolf is not around, a moose asks, “Wolf, are you there?” The canine replies, “I’m putting on my underpants.” This call-and-response pattern is repeated as increasing numbers of woodland creatures frolic in the forest. In the meantime, Wolf continues getting dressed, looking bigger with the addition of each piece of clothing. The bright, bold cartoon-style artwork with dialogue balloons and expressive characters is well composed, demonstrating a sturdy handling of color, line, balance and momentum. The author’s note is better than most, tracing the entertainment back to 16th-century France, and providing music, lyrics and directions for playing. Mixing an age-appropriate level of suspense with a satisfying ending, this is a good-humored delight. (Picture book. 2-5)