A wolf and a rabbit stumble their way through friendship in the English translation of a French story.
Tom the rabbit and Wolfy the wolf become friends despite their relative positions on the food chain, but that friendship becomes threatened after a game of “Who’s-afraid-of-the-big-bad-wolf” goes a little too far. But when Wolfy becomes victimized by a pack of strange wolves, he rushes back to Tom, who decides to welcome back the chastened predator. The story makes some sense on a first read but raises unanswered questions. Does Wolfy have parents? Why does a game they play often inexplicably terrify the rabbit one day? Why does a pack of long-eared wolves think that another long-eared wolf is a rabbit? The illustrations are bold and vibrant, with a startling use of bright colors, and the animals are drawn in an appealingly childlike, cuddly fashion. The message is hard to pin down, but the story is more interesting without one. One moral might be that empathy grows from a common fear. Without a moral the story seems to say that relationships across power dynamics are confusing, awkward, and difficult to understand, which is true enough.
With intriguing but somewhat clunky text and strong illustrations, this story could easily captivate some young readers, to the bemusement of their adult counterparts. (Picture book. 3-7)