Another in Dodd’s series of diminutive picture books that celebrate the loving bond between an adult and a child.
On the cover are the two characters, a wolf and a cub (their very stylized outlines could also be huskies or malamutes). The narrative voice is that of a parent or caregiver, and it relates, in rhyme, how the child was wished for and how much the narrator wants only good things for the small one. The adult longs to teach and to share and is even delighted by the knowledge that the little one will grow up and away and will eventually teach the parent. The soft-edged illustrations are stylized and simple, primarily in black, gray, white, and blue, liberally splashed with silver foil. The two wolves gambol in the leafy or snowy woods, and the last wish given is that all the cub’s wishes come true. The book’s small, square size makes it nice to hold, and the illustrations allow room for imagination, but the rhyme is thick and clunky: “Side by side, we’ll walk the world. / We’ll make a super team! // And troubles shared are never / quite as bad as they first seem.” Happy, which publishes simultaneously, is done in browns and oranges and gold foil, with an adult owl and an owlet, and the same kind of heavy rhyme with a few more clichés.
The sentiments are certainly sweet, but this vein may be just about played out. (Picture book. 4-6)