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Based on an Algonquin folktale this bright, bold picture book echoes the colours and skill of Algonquin art and creativity.
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.
Wild Wolf is Fiona's first book for fourteen years. She writes:
"Wild Wolf is inspired by a folktale called Moowis from the Algonquin people of Canada and the North-West USA … Whilst I was travelling through the Rocky Mountains in 2007, a lone black wolf crossing the road gave me the idea for a different and happier ending."
Of the artwork she says, "The beautiful beadwork, quillwork and embroidery of the Algonquin people have been a great inspiration to me."
When Bravest Warrior is refused as a suitor by beautiful Proud Girl his heart turns to anger. In revenge he makes Ice Man, who leads Proud Girl into great danger. But Wild Wolf, guardian spirit, is watching. Can he rescue Proud Girl and could pride and anger turn to forgiveness and love? Inspired by and adapted from a traditional Algonquin tale, this powerful story, decorated with bold, brightly coloured paintings based on First Nation costume and beadwork, is by an internationally celebrated artist, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.
|Publication date:||6th February 2020|
|Publisher:||Otter-Barry Books Ltd|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2|
|Topics:||Adventure Stories, Animals, Traditional Tales|
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 TaitMore About Fiona French