Wolf's Magnificent Master Plan by Melanie Williamson
|Wolf's Magnificent Master Plan by Melanie Williamson|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Jo Heffer|
|Summary: Poor Wolf is suffering becuse he has such bad toothache and can only eat soup when what he really longs for is a tasty bit of lamb. All is not lost though because he has a magnificent master plan. Surely it cannot fail...|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: August 2008|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
All children know that wolves are mean, cunning, unscrupulous creatures and the wolf we meet in this story is no exception. He's particularly nasty because he wants to trick some innocent little lambs into helping him so that he can eat them for his dinner. Luckily, wolves are not known for their intellect so it is not difficult for the lambs to outwit him before his plan comes to fruition. Wolf's Magnificent Master Plan is a very good example of a modern version of a traditional tale with all the elements we would come to expect.
The story starts with Wolf feeling very sorry for himself because he has very bad toothache and he is down to his last rotten tooth. He is extremely fed up with soup which is the only thing he can eat and he dreams of devouring a more substantial piece of lamb. After a great deal of thought he comes up with his magnificent master plan. This involves persuading the lambs to use their wool to knit jumpers that he will sell in his shop. When he has raised enough money he will buy some new teeth and then take his pick of the juicy lambs! Now, as with all cunning plans, this one is not without its difficulties, but eventually it looks like he will be successful. He heads off to the lambs' home complete with his new shiny teeth, but he has not counted on the lambs being equally cunning. Like all good traditional tales the baddie gets his comeuppance in the end and the lambs live happily ever after!
This is a delightfully entertaining book which my three year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed when I shared it with her! She loved the story and became quite anxious that the poor little lambs would be eaten. Her relief at the end was immense and she visibly cheered for the lambs. Having said that though, it is not a book that will scare young children as every page has so much humour in both the story and the illustrations.
My daughter particularly enjoyed looking at the simple but effective illustrations. There were lots of different things to spot on each page particularly as all the lambs have different characteristics to look for. As Wolf's plan involved the lambs knitting, there are lots of brightly coloured woolly things too. My daughter particularly loves a couple of pages where she can see very long knitted scarves which twirl and swirl all over the page. Every time we get to these we have to wait while she traces the whole length of the scarf with her little finger.
As a parent, I particularly like the use of language in this book. It's not simplified in any way so it introduces lots of interesting words that will broaden your child's vocabulary. Throughout the story the wolf winces, splurts, sniggers and salivates. My daughter loves learning new words and then starting to use them herself. When I was getting her tea ready after having read this book she told me she was salivating!
The book is also visually stimulating. Apart from the lovely illustrations there are little signs and notices to read, thought bubbles showing what Wolf is thinking and a diagram with lots of arrows and symbols showing the magnificent master plan. My five year old daughter particularly picked up on all of these when I read the book with her, and all of these additions seemed to contribute to her overall enjoyment of the book.
We all thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I think it's one that both girls will want to choose time and time again! It feels suitable for children between the ages of about three and six and different children will get different things out of it. There is definitely a good feeling when the wolf is thwarted and the lambs are saved – well, everyone loves a happy ending, don't they?
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this book appeals to your child, take a look at Thud by Nick Butterworth - another book which has a supposed villain and a happy ending.
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