Wolves have a fearsome reputation right? All big teeth, sharp claws, terrifying growl…well Little Wolf must not have gotten the message. He prefers to lead somewhat or a more well-behaved life and is showing worrying signs of becoming a right ‘goodie four-paws’.
For starters, he is far too nice to his brother Smellybreff and he even goes to bed without being growled at. The only solution is to send Little Wolf off to the Cunning College in Frettnin Forest to learn the 9 Rules of Badness under the tutelage of Uncle BigBad. With his well-groomed tail between his legs and a backpack full of rabbit rolls, off he goes. But will Little Wolf be able to find his inner badness…
Funny, charming and very entertaining, Little Wolf’s Book of Badness is a delightful read that will have young readers giggling away. Told in a series of hysterical letters home, Little Wolf firstly narrates his experiences and feelings on a journey that seems as if it will never end and then his time spent with a rather grumpy Uncle Bigbad.
The thought of being sent to a school to learn how to be bad might be something that many children would love but it is the last thing that Little Wolf wants and his letters are written with all of the gloominess of an unhappy child that has been sent away on a school camp despite their protests. Desperate to get home, Little Wolf pleads his innocence and claims his good-behaviour was all just a big joke and a misunderstanding. He even goes so far as revealing some of his baddest behaviour - gluing his brother’s tail to a high-chair and cutting off mum’s whiskers while she was asleep - in order to keep up the good, or more accurately bad, name of Wolf.
Whilst Little Wolf might not be the baddest in town he has plenty of other attributes that are appreciated by another ‘pack’ and he makes for a delightful little character who rather than live up to the expectations of a wolf is confident enough to break free from the mould and is true to himself - lovely little messages for young readers.
Presented on ink splattered pages and complete with spelling mistakes, crossings-out and made-up words, Ian Whybrow and Tony Ross give children a book that is highly appealing. There are several editions available, some featuring black and white illustrations and a hardback that is in full colour which is my favourite and the one that I read for this review.
Recommended for 7+.