Wolf vigorously denies that he’s cute. He’s wrong.
The eponymous wolf is a rotund, fanged, puglike, stray dog, and its first-person narration is printed in emphatic capital letters: “MOST WOLVES LIVE IN PACKS…BUT NOT ME. / I AM A LONE WOLF.” This last line is accompanied by pictures of two apron-clad people approaching the little dog. The aprons are emblazoned with a paw-print emblem, and the people cautiously crate the dog as it snaps and cries, “BARK BARK BARK.” The next spread shows the dog glowering in a pen within a cheery-looking animal shelter. The text reads, “I’M FINE ON MY OWN,” as happy, diverse families (notably including same-sex couples) smile while interacting with other dogs. Just below this textual rebuff arrives the girl poised to flout such sentiments. She has brown skin and voluminous, curly black hair, and she’s trailed by a woman who reads as her mother, with similar coloring, and a white-appearing, bespectacled man who reads as her dad. Unlike others, the girl is charmed by the dog, who continues to “BARK!” even at sympathetic workers. In a wordless spread, notable for its spare focus on them alone, the girl hugs the dog, then dashes away, leaving it bereft. But! She returns, leash in hand, and Wolf leaves with her family, now exclaiming, “I AM WOLF. / AND THIS IS MY PACK.” Working digitally, newcomer Miller creates her cartoon characters with emphatic swatches of matte color against generous white space.
Lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)