In The Girl and The Wolf author Katherena Vermette turns the classic wolf story on its head and introduces readers to the wolf as a guide and a helper instead of falling into the trap of being big and bad.
A girl and her mother are gathering berries in the woods one day when the girl gets lost. She is scared and unsure until a tall grey wolf appears and eases her fears. The grey wolf shows the girl the ability to find her way home is inside her, she justs needs to stay calm and think.
I agree with the author in almost every fairy story the wolf is depicted as hungry, bad and only out to hurt and harm. It’s nice to see the wolf as a guide and a helper instead. You may pick up this story thinking it’s a traditional tale but it is not. In the author’s note, Katherena Vermette states The Girl and the Wolf was inspired by traditional stories but is not taken from one. Readers will take away the understanding that within each of us is the capability to save ourselves. We are brave and capable and have the knowledge to find our way home we just need to take a deep breath, close our eyes and then look.
I love Julie Flett’s illustrations. Her illustrative style is not one I typically seek out but I find it so compelling. There is a quiet simplicity in her art, mainly collage with a muted and limited colour palette. You really get a sense of the characters and the mood of the story through her art. The grey wolf is striking in this story, especially when he is placed in darker places within the pages. Almost as a signature, the girl’s dress is a beautiful red colour found in all of Julie Flett’s work.