Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Jazzy graphics featuring collage elements and a chatty narrative spin out a fun fractured fairytale that succeeds in dramatizing ambivalence to scary books, said PW. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-4-Despite its eye-popping visual whimsy, this offering misses the mark on several fronts. Herb has a phobia about the wolves that populate his bedtime stories. His mother always takes the books away with her at night so the wolves that live inside it won't bother him while he sleeps. But one night she forgets, and Herb's worst fears are confirmed when two wolves materialize in his room, leading a parade of stock fairy-tale characters behind them. It doesn't take long for the Fairy Godmother to send Little Wolf off to the ball wearing Cinderella's dress and to turn Big Wolf into a caterpillar. After that, none of Herb's storybook plotlines are ever the same again. (Imagine a "tiny caterpillar trying with all his might to terrify a little girl in a red coat.") The story does a lot of meandering and while Child was obviously trying to make it zany and fun, it is ultimately just cluttered and directionless. However, her artwork is undeniably magnetic. Lively collages incorporate feathers, fabric samples, and wood grain, adding depth and variety to Herb's otherwise two-dimensional universe. The artist employs numerous typefaces and varies the size, shape, and orientation of the text to complement the twists and turns of the story. While many children will be caught up in the superlative artwork and might not mind the lack of a good story, this is not a happily ever after selection.-Catherine T. Quattlebaum, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Ages 4^-7. Every night Herb's mother reads him a bedtime story, which often features hairy, ugly wolves. Each night, Herb tells his mother to take the book with her, "because there's a wolf inside." Sure enough, on the one night Mom forgets, two smelly wolves appear in his bedroom (one is dressed in a suit and tie; a younger one, with a patch over his eye, is dressed in knee pants). The wolves are ready to eat the boy until he tricks them into thinking little boys are only for dessert. Then what's the appetizer? So begins a wacky trip through several stories where a fairy godmother puts the young wolf into Cinderella's dress and turns the other one into a caterpillar--that's good for Red Riding Hood, who meets a caterpillar in the forest instead of a wolf. The artwork is frantic--strips of color serve as background for exuberant pen-and-watercolor pictures reminiscent of Quentin Blake's art, only kicked up one dizzy notch. This goofy tale is fractured in all the right places. --Ilene Cooper
Horn Book Review
Mayhem ensues when the Big Bad Wolf and the Little Fierce Wolf manage to escape from the pages of a book and into a boy's bedroom. While the concept is innovative and the conclusion is satisfying, the overlong text trips on its own cleverness. Stylized text and dramatic page spreads contribute to the noteworthy design, featuring cut-out pen-and-watercolor drawings in a loose, free-form style. From HORN BOOK Fall 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Child fractures a few fairy tales, and the wolves get it in the chops once again, in this story of a young boy and his bedtime worries. Herb's mom reads him "Little Red Riding Hood" every night. Herb loves itthat wolf gives him a chilling pleasurebut he wants his mom to take the book with her when she goes. One night she mistakenly leaves it behind and sure enough, two wolves materialize and propose to sup on Herb. Herb delays his demise by suggesting that little boys are really a dessert course and the wolves ought to start with appetizers. At that point, other fairy tales start becoming involved: "This was bad luck for Herb because the wicked fairy hated little boys only slightly less than she hated little girls. They made her nervous. She'd seen what those little brats Hansel and Gretel had done to that poor defenseless witch." The Little Wolf gets sent to the ball in Cinderella's dressWhich of course left Cinderella having a night in, cleaning the kitchen after all"and the other gets transformed into a caterpillar by the Fairy Godmother, saving Herb's bacon, and giving the story a rather abrupt conclusion. Not quite as devilish as a Scieszka/Smith production, but just a step shy and with the same sophisticated, crackpot patter that may likely zoom right over young listeners' heads while pleasing adult readers. Child's trademark ink-and-wash and collage artwork, filled with sly wit, scraggly wolves, and goofy humans plays with perspective and placement of text, adding just the right over-the-top lunacy. Dont miss the Little Wolf in heels, hairy legs, and party dress being dipped by the prince on the dance floor. (Picture book. 4-9)