Take one wolf, determined but dim,
And one girl, clever and brave.
Add a sprinkling of fairytales and mix well,
Then bake as needed each evening at bedtime for a week.
Result: a deliciously funny collection of stories
That will leave young readers begging more…
Need to know more? Well, the title of the book - Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf - sums it up fairly well, actually: this is a highly edible collection of bite-size stories about young Polly (who is clever) and the Wolf (who is quite stupid).
Wolf really, really wants to eat Polly. He has a plan. Well, thirteen plans to be accurate, one for each chapter. Some of them seem like they might even work, though perhaps not the one where he thinks he’s turned himself invisible (during which he takes a break from Polly-hunting to play, of all things, at being a train). From trying to copy some classic fairytales (and not just the obvious ones either) to disguising himself as the postman, I couldn’t help but be endeared to this quirky, funny Wolf despite his dark intentions. And of course Polly outwits him at every turn in various different ways. Respect.
Even though this a book clearly aimed at much younger readers than myself, I really enjoyed it! It was witty and funny and lovely. I can picture my friend’s five-year-old soaking it up as a bedtime story just as much as I can picture a seven or eight-year-old reading it to themselves. The stories don’t always go the way you might expect them to, but rest assured that Wolf doesn’t ever get his way (much to his great disappointment), while the conversations between the two characters are absolutely classic. I would totally read the follow-on book, Polly and the Wolf Again, just for my own amusement.