Friday, 13 July 2018

The Last Wolf by Mini Grey - reviewed by Damian Harvey

Mini Grey has a style all of her own and it's one that makes her books instantly recognisable. Each one is a delight - from her very first - "Egg Drop", to the Kate Greenaway award winning "Adventures of Dish and Spoon" and the popular "Traction Man". The Last Wolf is the latest book to be written and illustrated by Mini, and it doesn't disappoint.

The story starts with Little Red putting on her hunting hat and boots then, armed with her trusty 'popgun' and a packed lunch, she sets off to catch a wolf. Safe in the knowledge that there hasn't been a wolf around 'for at least a hundred years' Mum wishes her good luck and tells her not to be late for tea.

Little Red sets off on her adventure through the forest, lurking behind trees and slithering through the bracken. She sees shapes that could easily be a wolf or other wild animal and jumps out on them, only to but disappointed in finding a tree stump and an old bin bag that someone has dumped. Deeper into the forest, Red gets frightened by strange noises 'and grabby twigs' and runs until she comes across a door in a tree trunk. When the door is opened by the last wolf, Little Red is invited in for tea with the Last Lynx and the Last Bear who tell her stories on the 'good old days'

Little Red learns that there used to be 'endless miles of forest to run through and a thousand grazing beasts to bite. In the good old days, the 'world was awash with flowers and bees and dripping with honey. Suddenly the wild animals look hungrily at Little Red who quickly takes out her lunch box... Then, as the wolf runs after a hard boiled egg, the bear catches a sausage roll and the lynx chases the sandwich 'around the cave until it was wounded', Little Red eats her apple and wonders how she can help.
It's getting dark so the Last Wolf, the Last Lynx and the Last Bear walk Little Red home through the Last Woods. Here we get to see just how small the Last Woods are. Instead of the huge forest that Little Red has imagined, the Last Woods is really just a small clump of trees surrounded by houses.    
Back at home, Little Red has realised what needs to be done to help the animals and with Mum's help she plants three little acorns. She knows that the trees will take a long time to grown but she also knows that one day they will be amazing.

The Last Wolf is a fun story that children will thoroughly enjoy and as always, there's lots to look at in Mini's artwork which will make it. The words and pictures also carry a strong environmental message (without ever being preachy) which will make it additionally valuable for use in schools.

Reviewed by Damian Harvey

Twitter @damianjharvey


No comments:

Post a Comment