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Fiona French was born in Bath. She was taught by illustrator Charles Keeping at Croydon College of Art and worked as an assistant to the artist Bridget Riley from 1968 to 1973. Her first picture book, Jack of Hearts, was published in 1968. She won the Greenaway Medal in 1986 for Snow White in New York.
Since then she has written and illustrated other brilliantly coloured and imaginatively conceived picture-books including Anancy and Mr Dry-Bone and Little Inchkin, many of which remain in print after several decades. She lives, and paints, in Norfolk.
Photo credit: Claire Tait
Although the original tale of the wild wolf and proud girl is known to have a sad ending this has been retold for this version giving a hopeful outcome. Wild Wolf is the guardian spirit to his people, wise in knowing that people can be very proud and cruel in their actions. When Proud Girl refuses many suitors one, Bravest Warrior, seeks revenge by making her fall in love with a creature built from ice and scraps.As Proud Girl follows Ice Man, she is separated from all she knows, until Ice Man melts in the sun. Proud Girl might also perish, except for the care of the spirit wolf who helps keep her warm until Bravest Warrior finds her and keeps her alive, ultimately winning her hand, though they had both gone through many changes.A simple but very tough story of revenge, pride and forgiveness told in bold pictures with bright, vibrant colours. Each double spread has few words and big illustrations with bold blocks of colour filling the page. The wolf has an almost hypnotic stare, you could imagine him as a truly great guardian spirit in a harsh natural world. A moral fable for our times.