Woolvs in the Sitee

Wild, Margaret.

Spudvilas, Anne (illus.)

 

Front Street, Asheville, North Carolina. 2006. 40 p.

 

Well, this book is quite a different one, let’s start with that. It’s a picture book, but not like your average No, David or Bark, George. No no no. This is one for a mature audience, around 12 or older, and it is dark. Very dark.

 

The book centers on Ben, a young boy all alone in a bleak and terrifying world. He spends his days and nights hiding in a basement only looking out at what’s left of his former city. His only companion is his neighbor, Mrs. Radinski, who takes as good of care of him as she can. Ben warns Mrs. Radinski about the “woolvs” that haunt the city, but she doesn’t believe him. Until it is (possibly) too late for her.

 

The entire book is written in misspelled English which is apparently Ben’s own writing (it looks like he may be writing this account on his walls or some scrap paper). In some parts I really had to sit and look and sound out the word to figure out what he meant, like “fernicha.” But I do think Wild did an excellent job phonetically spelling words the way a barely educated young boy would.

 

To be honest, this wasn’t my favorite book of recent memory. But to be more honest, I don’t gravitate toward dark books in general. I will say the artwork captures the fear and darkness of Ben’s world and really gives the book a “mood.” I appreciated the idea of the book, and I think it can give young readers something to think about with our own world and the politics and dangers around us.  

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