The Big Bad Wolf

La peur du loup, Sweet Cabane

The Big Bad Wolf.

 Today we talk about a both light and deep topic : the fear of the wolf. We will try to explain this human timeless fear and give you some ideas about interesting children books dealing with the Wolf. I’ve asked some blogger mums to help me in this selection : Coline se raconte, Galex la Fée, Mini Branchouille and French Mômes. It’s also a good occasion to go and have a look at their websites!

Why do wolves frighten children?

Everybody has been frightened by volves one day in his life,  and so for centuries. This children’s fear hides deep psychological mecanisms which are necessary to children’s growth. The fear of wolves can be assimilated to the fear of the Bad, of insecurity and also, more deeply, of death.

None the less, this fear also permits children to construct themselves and to draw their own limits. It’s the reason why the fear of  wolves is more important from 2 to 5 years-old, a period of intense self-construction.

Tales are a good way to tame this fear : they put words on it and tranfer it to the imaginary world, a way to keep it away from the real world. They give children the opportunity to play with it, to tame it and to be bigger than it. Humour, happy end, turnaround of the situation are good ways to succeed in this process.

Now, let’s give way to my blogger friends who’re going to talk about their favourite tales. At the end of this article, I will talk about Wolf! Wolf! by Stéphanie Blake.

Where’s the wolf? by Galex la Fée

At home, Charlie and I love reading ‘Where’s the wolf?, a book in which that’s the Little Pig who looks for the Wolf… Charlie loves it! On each page, he can find a new animal and learn how to imitate it (and so do I… ). Not that easy for a mum to imitate a beaver or a badger 😉 !

I personally like the story in the story, the other point of view. This tales doesn’t narrate the story of the ‘Big Bad Wolf’, but the one of ‘The Sweet Little Pig’….. It’s always about pigs and wolves and a wolf who wants to eat a pig, but we also learn who this wolf really is : a father who’s working hard, and who loves his kids! I just love the final humouristic and moral touch!

Where’s the wolf? Ramadier et Bourgeau, éditions Ecole des Loisirs.

The three little pigs by Coline se Raconte

« Who’s afraid of the wolf? We are not, we are not,…!” This song is associated to my son’s favourite tale : The three little pigs. I think I’ve read this book almost a thousand times. Thanks to Nif-Nif, Naf-Naf and Nouf-Nouf, my son was having lunch without saying a word, as he was totally focused on the story and on my funny face (I was trying to imitate the wolf). The funniest part was the final when this rather stupid wolf falls in the chimney and burns his buttocks. So this wolf wasn’t as dreadful as we had thought he was at the beginning with his big teeth!  Above all, he is not living with us because we don’t have a brick house! Phew…

This story is well-structured, easy-to-read and with a funny song. It’s a good way to see that bad people don’t always win. The wolf is uglier than smart and also learn that brothers’ solidarity is the best remedy to fear.

Three Little Pigs, Hachette Jeunesse.

Loulou by French Mômes

La peur du loup, Sweet Cabane
Crédit photo : French Mômes

That’s the story of Loulou, a very sweet little wolf who makes friends with Tom, a little rabbit. They’re best friends till the day they play to be scared. Loulou frightens his friend so much that Tom locks himself in his burrow. Loulou is sad and asks him for forgiveness. Happy end!

Children and adults love Loulou at home : drawing style is simple, colors are vivid! As a mum, I like the fear of Wolves to be a pretext to explain other topics such as friendship, fragility, difference, tolerance and death. Finally, Loulou is a book that we can read all along the childhood!

 Loulou, Gregoire Soltareff, éditions Ecole des Loisirs.

Coco Panache by Minibranchouille

We’ve been reading this book for years : from my eldest son to my youngest daughter. it’s also one of the first books my kids have read by themselves. Catharina Valcks has created a non-frightening wolf, which is very pleasant! His wife went him on diet and he wanders through the woods looking for blueberries. This is a moral, cheeky and a bit impertinent tale which makes children think about surpassing themselves and the impact of prejudice. And when we close this boook, children just want to wear their knight disguises and play once again the story!

Coco Panache,  Catharina Valckx, éditions L’école des Loisirs.

Au loup! by Sweet Cabane

We follow the adventures of the joker and decided little rabbit. In this volume, our little hero plays with the fear of wolves to frighten his surroudings and to do just what he wants … till the day he meets the wolf himself!  Now it’s his turn to really be frightened!

This book has been a success at home for years, especially when my kids were about 2 years-old (my little one now) because it shows a powerful child who can defy adults and fears without being a super-hero! Humour, suspense and happy end make the success of this story !  .. I also entertain myself a lot imitating the wolf!!

Au loup!, Stéphanie Blake, Ecole des Loisirs.

***

I hope you’ve enjoyed this selection even though some books are from French literature. And you, what are your favourite Wolf tales? Don’t hesitate to share here! I would love to read you…

Emilie.

2 Comments

  • Merci pour cette jolie sélection!
    Dans l’abonnement à L’école des Loisirs de ma toute petite, il y avait en mars un petit album qui m’a fait fondre….”Qui dort ici?” de Sabine de Greef. Ce très joli livre joue librement sur la peur du loup et le petit Chaperon Rouge car un petit loup dort sous une grosse couette… Osera t-on l’approcher? Attention il bouge… Et finalement celui qui a le plus peur n’est pas celui que l’on croyait…. Eclats de rire garantis de ma fille de 3 ans!

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