Creative Editions, Hardcover, 9781568462196, 24pp.
Publication Date: August 24, 2011
When Rupert, a rabbit, reads of a wolf spotted roaming the hills, he races off to warn his cat friend, Cleo, who rushes off to alert Edgar, the elephant, and so on. In each telling the wolf gets a frightening new trait that coincides with a characteristic of the teller. The cat says the wolf has sharp claws, the elephant reports that it has a vacuumlike snout, and the alligator tells Wallace, who is gathering mushrooms in the hills, of a shocking number of teeth. Frightened of being devoured, he invites the group inside his house for safety's sake, and they enjoy a delicious dinner with good company behind his double-locked door. What no one notices or mentions is that their friend Wallace is clearly a wolf. The final page states, "As for the wolf . rumor has it he still roams the hills." While the text relates wild claims of how the wolf will take its victims, the soft colors and hazy backgrounds reduce the scariness of the situation. Using plenty of details and great facial expressions, Felix's illustrations depict the cartoon animals as both realistic and anthropomorphic. The cover is cleverly composed of news clippings with provocative headline words, such as "trouble," "conspiracy," and "killed." This picture book can be read on two levels-pair it with "Chicken Little" for a storytime of impending doom with a happy ending or read it with older kids for a discussion about rumors and fear.