Witty with incredible art, but too scary for some.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

It's pointed out that the wolf has sharp teeth and claws. Also, it eats animals, including the rabbit who is the main character. The next page offers an alternative, happier, and humorous ending.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the illustrations in this book are fascinating, as are the facts. However, both may scare more sensitive younger kids. Also, the main character, a book-reading rabbit, is humanized, then threatened by the carnivorous wolf. An alternative ending is offered that lightens the book up considerably.

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What's the story?

A floppy-eared rabbit checks out a book about wolves from the library, and learns facts that alarm him. An alternative ending stresses that this is a work of fiction, and the vegetarian wolf becomes the rabbit's best friend.

Is it any good?


Readers will find themselves as engrossed as the rabbit by the growing suspense in this book. Page by page, the innocent child-like creature is walking closer to danger. And the exquisite drawings definitely add to the drama. Always in black and white pencil, the wolf is drawn as a salivating, sharp-toothed, chop-licking predator, who is just waiting for the right moment, and gets his chance. The rabbit is a long-eared, friendly, beige-colored cutie who doesn't have a clue about what he's walking into.

The author's assurance that no rabbit was harmed in the making of this book, and her alternative ending in which both become friends, may be a comfort to some readers who find themselves horrified at the ending. Others may appreciate the witty, dry humor of the first version, and want to stick with it. Either way, this is a unique book, full of small clever details, fascinating art, and a story that most kids, especially the less sensitive ones, will enjoy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about wolves, and the facts that are offered. They also can talk about the rabbit. Which seems more real? Can rabbits read? Do wolves eat rabbits? Do you think wolves can really be vegetarians? Which of the two endings do you like best? Also, parents should be ready to discuss predator/prey relationships natural to the world, and what they, and their kids, think about it.

Book details

Author:Emily Gravett
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:August 6, 2006
Number of pages:40
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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