Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Review: Wolfley-O's

by Sallie Lowenstein

On the last day of the first week of first grade, Davey doesn't want to go back to school. The other kids pick on him, call him names, and push him down on the playground. Then he discovers an unusual box of cereal in the pantry. On the box is a space that reads, "Wolfley-O's! The cereal that ____________________________." After Davey fills in the blank with "Builds Your Confidence," he finds that he does, indeed, have more confidence the next day at school.

Throughout the week, more blanks for different attributes appear on the cereal box, and as Davey fills them in, he finds that things improve at school. The week culminates when a recipe for Wolfley-O cookies appears on the box, and Davey makes the cookies to share with the other kids at school.

Wolfley-O's is a fun and empowering story for kids about the power of imagination to shape our world. Sallie Lowenstein understands well, and does a great job of portraying, the fluid line between imagination and reality for young children. Is the box of Wolfley-O's real or in Davey's imagination? It really won't matter to the kids reading the story.

Lowenstein is good at getting into the mind of a child, and Davey is an appealing character that kids will identify with. The art is lovely, with great attention to detail; for example, Davey's socks are bunched up and coming off in one illustration. The kids at school start out as a child's stick figures at first, then gradually gain detail and transform into fully drawn and shaded characters as Davey gets to know them.

The recipe for Wolfley-O's cookies is included in the story. It sounds delicious enough that I'd like to try it, yet simple enough for a young child to make (with adult supervision).

Wolfley-O's is a Cybils nominee in the Fiction Picture Books category.

FTC required disclosure: Review copy (F&G) provided by the publisher to enable me to write this review.

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