Bernard, the Big Bad Wolf who lives in Louis’ closet, is back (The Big Bad Wolf and Me, 2006). Huzzah!
Bernard is pretty much under control, and he’s even vegetarian (except for fish), so why shouldn’t he go on vacation with Louis and his grandpa? It’s not as easy as one might imagine. Grandpa takes to the talking wolf quite easily, although Bernard hates pretending he’s a dog. He can’t help choose sandwiches, for example, since Louis is afraid the wolf will forget to walk on four legs and not to talk. “I am wounded by your lack of trust” says Bernard haughtily. They even argue over who will be first in the water (it turns out to be grandpa). Twelve chapters are done in comic-book style, with multiple squiggly sketches that seem artless but are vividly funny. Human figures are blue, the elongated and angular wolf is brown and solid (everyone else is linear), and the occasional crab or cow is done in rust or maroon. The language remains simple, accessible, charming and quite funny in this nifty follow-up.
Readers may find metaphors about imaginary friends, taming one’s fears or having special fun with grandparents, but mostly, they will go from giggles to guffaws with this disarming trio. (Graphic novel. 5-10)