Wolf in the Snow


The little red coated traveller sets out on her long, lonely journey to school, dogs barking in farewell. The snow is light. As we move into the book, we meet her anew at the end of the school day. The snow is heavy now and she faces a deep trek, alone again.

Meanwhile, a wolf pack courses the hills. At its heel is a cub, struggling in the deep snow. The pack picks up pace leaving the cub behind. What happens when our school girl encounters the little ‘Wolf in the Snow’. Will she heed his distress and follow the howls of the pack to return him? How will they welcome her? Furthermore, will rescuing the wolf cub put her safe return home in jeopardy?

Matthew Cordell draws us into this challenging adventure despite the fact there are few words- only animal sounds. We are thoroughly invested in the safety of both central characters. We hear the deep tread of snow, feel the ice around us and the fear of both cub and child.

Wolf in the Snow‘ is an exquisite picture book from which there is so much meaning to be taken. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this beautiful, Caldecott Medal winning title to our readers.

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Wolf in the Snow

Matthew Cordell

(Andersen Press)

‘Wolf in the Snow’ is left behind by his pack. Meanwhile, we follow the journey, as though through a telescope, of a red coated girl across the snow-littered fields. In the flypaper, we see her begin her day, leaving home for school. At the end of day the threatened snow falls heavily. Both the girl and the wolf are solo travellers. Therefore, we wonder when they will meet and furthermore what the outcome might be.
And then, ‘huff huff/ whine whine‘, for both travellers are wearied, frightened and affected by the conditions in which they travel. Furthermore they are young and vulnerable. Could the little red coated traveller come to the aid of the cub as the snow grows ever deeper, too thick for him to proceed? Surely she would not take on the challenge of carrying the little wolf to the ‘hooooooooooooooowwwllll’ that echoes across the valley?
While this title is akin to Nicola Davies’ and Sebastien Braun’s beautiful Brave and the Fox, somehow Matthew Cordell conjures up the condition and the challenge dramatically. There are few words, only animal sounds, alongside symbolic framing of his pictures endorsed by expressive eyes and feeling marks,  like the /// of comic books. There is little wonder why this beautiful title met such acclaim upon its US release leading to its Caldecott Medal. Bookwagon is proud to present ‘The Wolf in the Snow’. 


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