Review Blog

Aug 21 2014

Whiffy Wilson, the wolf who wouldn't go to school by Caryl Hart

cover image

Ill. by Leonie Lord. Hachette, 2014. ISBN 9781408325858.
(Age: 3-8) Recommended. Picture book. School. Learning. Whiffy doesn't know how to hold a pen, he has never been to school. He cannot write his name or count to ten, and when his father tells him it is time for school, his response is that school is boring and he will not go. But calling on his friend, Dotty, to play one day, he discovers that she is going to school, and so will not be around for him to play.
She wonders if he is scared of going to school, and encourages him to go with her. At school, he finds a totally different place than the one he imagined. Dotty shows him where to hang his coat and takes him to the loo. During the day they do all sorts of things, making dough for biscuits, painting and drawing, joining the dots to make a picture and playing football. At lunch they have pizza and in no time it is time to go home. Whiffy is amazed and ready to go the next day but it is Saturday.
In rhyming stanzas of four lines, the text evokes the fun of the school day, exposing Whiffy's fears to be baseless, and showing the sorts of things done at school. And the illustrations capture the way the children feel about going to school, as well as the fun they have during the day.
For those people who have some reluctance about going to school, this book is a perfect foil, and for those who would like a funny read about schools, then this fits the bill perfectly.
Fran Knight

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