Gecko Press, 2019
36pp., pbk. RRP $A16.99
Once upon a time there was a rabbit who had never seen a wolf, and a young wolf who had never seen a rabbit.The pair meet and become good friends. Tom the rabbit teaches the wolf to play marbles, read, count and fish. Wolfy teaches Tom to run very, very fast.
But eventually their friendship is tested by the classic game Who’s-afraid-of-the-big-bad-wolf? Can the little rabbit and the young wolf remain best friends in all the world?
With its striking artwork, this is a story about how opposites can be friends despite their differences – not a new theme in children’s literature – but the twist is in the resolution. When Wolfy frightens Tom so badly during their game that Tom scurries to his burrow vowing never to come out again, Wolfy doesn’t get it -until he does. It’s the young child’s version of “walk a mile in my shoes” that sets this book about friendship apart and which has lessons to teach those who find it hard to empathise with the results of their actions. Plenty of scope for discussion and reflection.