Nov 21, 2011

Betsy Who Cried Wolf!

Betsy Who Cried Wolf! by Gail Carson Levine
Illustrated by Scott Nash

     In the same town where there was once a boy who cried wolf, Betsy has just turned eight and taken the Shepherds' Oath.  She's ready to guide her sheep and protect them from any wolf who may try to eat them.  Meanwhile, up on Rosenrise Mountain, Zimmo, the wolf, is hungry and lonely.  He knows he needs food, and soon, so he comes up with a plan.  As Betsy leads her sheep up the mountain, the wolf lets her see him and as soon as she calls for help, he hides.  Nobody believes poor Betsy. The next day, Zimmo shows up again and Betsy calls for help once more.  Afraid that this is a repeat of the lying boy from years ago, the townsmen send poor Betsy back to Shepherd School (where she must write on the blackboard "I will cry wolf only when I see a wolf", over and over again).  When she's finally allowed to head back out to the mountain, she comes face to face with Zimmo.  She calls for help, but nobody comes. This time, the hungry wolf runs towards Betsy and the sheep, but he only has eyes for her lunch: a delicious shepherds' pie. With a full belly, Zimmo turns out to be quite helpful and Betsy has a new assistant.
        Betsy Who Cried Wolf! is a very entertaining twist on the old story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.  The delightful illustrations by Nash, add a great touch with tons of funny details to be noticed in multiple reads.  The styling of Betsy, with hooded sweatshirt and cut out gloves, give it a cool and modern touch.  Excellent read aloud to pair up with the original story.