Publication Date: August 2011
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Word travels quickly through a peaceful village when a hungry beast is spotted in the hills. Some say he has ears that can hear a potential meal from a mile away! Others declare that his stink is enough to kill you with just one whiff! Still others report that his snout is stronger than a vacuum cleaner! The threat compels friends to warn one another and in humorous fashion turn hearsay into an increasingly inaccurate rumor. Uncertainty abounds, but by the time the villagers are safely gathered together out of harm s reach, one thing is for sure readers young and old will be charmed by The Rumor!
Monique Felix is a renowned Swiss artist and author who studied graphic arts at L'Ecole des Arts Appliqués in Lausanne. She has since illustrated more than 40 acclaimed children's books, including Creative Editions' popular Mouse Book series, Tuba Lessons, Hundreds of Fish, The Enchanted Sled, and Bear Dance. Among her many honors is the Octogone Prize from the International Center of Children's Literature in France.
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.