Book review: The Wolf Who Learned Self-Control, by Orianne Lallemand, illustrated by Éléonore Thuillier

Lallemand, Orianne. The Wolf Who Learned Self-Control. Éléonore Thuillier. Auzou, 2018. $14.95. ISBN 9782733861479. 31 pages. Ages 4-8. P7 Q7

Wolf, who lives in a forest, has no self-control and his moods changed constantly. Wolf’s friends teach him yoga, running, and baking to help him learn self-control. Wolf gets frustrated and storms off. With the advice of a friend, he apologizes. Wolf then uses the skills he learned to create a celebration for his friends. The illustrations are colorful showing Wolf’s feelings as he learns self-control. This book is in the Wolf series, which is a popular in France. It was first published in France, this is the English version. The end pages show the wolf surrounded in colored squares with different feelings.

Verdict: Children who are learning self-control will benefit from the lessons Wolf learns. Themes of self-confidence and friendship are intertwined in the story.

November 2018 review by Tami Harris.

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Book review: Lucy and the Dragonfly., by Lucie Papineau, illustrated by Caroline Hamel

Papineau, Lucie. Lucy and the Dragonfly. Illustrated by Caroline Hamel. Auzou, $16.95. ISBN 9782733856208. 33 pages. Ages 3-6. P6 Q5.

Lucy and the Dragonfly is a story about a young girl who enjoys the nature playing outside. One day, drought and disease caused by climate change has killed the grass and dried the creek. The dragonfly she often plays with is so affected by the little girl’s misery that it takes it upon itself to find a solution for her plight. There are several issues with this book, both physical and plot-related. Lucy is white, lives in a house in temperate climate, and wears a tutu; yet, the dragonfly employs a boy living in an island village near the equator who needs to travel to the next village to use a phone. Of the two, who is going to experience the negative effects of climate change more dramatically? The story would have been exponentially more successful had Lucy initiated a global movement to help the boy and his village. The book has interesting and colorful illustrations; but the page numbering is a bit off or it is missing pages at the beginning.

Verdict: I would not recommend this book, its messaging about climate change erroneously suggests that third-world countries have the responsibility to change their behavior before developed nations. The construction is poor, as well.

October 2018 review by Lillian Curanzy.