Help! The Wolf Is Coming. Review for Inis Childrens Magazine, August 2015.

Here is the original. 

I have done a fair few reviews for Inis, the magazine of Childrens Books Ireland. Not all have gone online and the magazine is fairly irregularly published. I enjoy the discipline of a capsule review. Reviewing a pre school book is also challenging. It is also sometime challenging to be too damning of a book for children although I managed it here

Since 2009, the team of Toulouse-born Cédric Ramadier and Brussels-born Vincent Bourgeau have produced a stream of brightly illustrated block books with a very distinctive look and feel, simultaneously fresh and ‘classic.’ Their work strongly emphasises interactivity with the book itself.

Originally published in French, this is a charming board book which features a wolf approaching the ‘fourth wall’. The reader is asked to engage with the book in various ways – tilting, tapping, turning it upside down – to try and stop the wolf’s progress as he gets steadily closer. Despite all the shaking, inverting and tapping, the persistent lupine interloper keeps going, and the book has a satisfying circularity that will keep children reading again and again.

This is a highly enjoyable board book with clear, bright colours, an appropriately fierce (but not overly scary-looking) wolf, and a pleasing sense of drama and suspense. It also illustrates the importance and potential of the physical book itself, especially in engaging the youngest co-readers with words and pictures in a dynamic, fun way.

Ramadier and Bourgeau are a team worth following; their books are ideal in engaging young children and one would hope further translations will broaden their appeal further.

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