Wolf In The Snow (Matthew Cordell)

Hello, friends! Our book today is the winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal, Wolf In The Snow by Matthew Cordell, a story in pictures about courage and a kindness repaid.

Told almost entirely without text, the story begins with a little girl in a bright red coat setting off to school one day, just as a pack of wolves and their cub begin a journey of their own. Later, as the girl starts back towards home and the wolf pack continues on, a snow begins to fall, quickly blanketing in the landscape in white and obscuring visibility for the travelers. The wolf cub becomes separated, and soon both it and the little girl find themselves lost – then they find each other. Seeing the cub struggling to move through the deep snow, and hearing it’s family howling for it the distance, the girl picks the cub up and sets out towards the wolf calls. Braving obstacles, animals, and her own fear, the girl returns the cub and sets back towards her own home, but finds she is now too exhausted and cold to continue on, and collapses. Seeing this, the pack surrounds her, protecting her from the elements and using their howls to direct the girl’s searching family to her rescue.

Really sweet. It does take a special pictures-only book to hold JJ’s attention (she typically prefers a verbal narrative), but she was enthralled with the story. This is absolutely due to the art, which conveys all the emotion, tension, and characterization needed to portray a moving tale of why it’s important to do the right thing, even if it’s hard or scary. The length is what you make it, depending on how you explore the book with your little ones, and we both enjoyed the strong theme and visuals. A lovely lesson in kindness and selflessness, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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