Sep 9, 2011
Winston the Book Wolf
Winston the Book Wolf by Marni McGee
Illustrated by Ian Beck
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new version of The Little Red Riding Hood called Carmine: A Little More Red. Today, we have another one: Winston the Book Wolf. In fact, Winston the Book Wolf has a bit from Little Red and another bit from Three Little Pigs. Winston is a wolf who loves to devour words, literally. If he sees a sign with words in it, or a book, he just has to eat it. That's why he's not allowed anywhere near the library. One day, he ignores -in fact, he eats- the sign outside the library that says "No Wolves Allowed." He goes in and the librarian calls for help. Everybody starts chasing the wolf, trying to corner him. But then, a little girl named Rosie (who wears a red hooded sweatshirt and carries a basket in her arm), comes to his rescue and shows him an escape route. They ran "through an alley, then under a bridge, and over a hill." When they finally stopped, Rosie asked Winston why he ate books. Winston explained that words were delicious, "Why, words taste better than roasted skunk, even better than gopher stew!" Rosie then told Winston that he couldn't eat books anymore, that there were other ways of tasting the wonderfull words inside. "Words taste even better when you eat them with your eyes!" She then teaches him to read. Winston borrows clothes from Rosie's grandma and dressed up as a woman he heads back to the library with Rosie. From that day on, he spent his time at the library reading stories to all that would come for story time hour.
Winston the Book Wolf is thoroughly enjoyable. Readers will delight in finding subtle similarities between the classic tale and this story. I loved the use of the same characters from the classic fairy tale but with a new story line. This could be a model to follow in the writer's workshop in the classroom. It is a great read aloud to do at home as well.