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Big bad wolves have a habit of turning up in children’s literature; they are generally known for their tendency to howl at the moon, blow houses down, and gobble people up. You might be surprised, therefore, by Rolf, the “good little wolf” who enjoys helping elderly ladies and baking cakes for all his friends. Good Little Wolf is Nadia Shireen’s debut children’s book and the perfect introduction to an author who has since been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Waterstones Children's Book Award. Can a wolf that munches on vegetables rather than unsuspecting grannies be considered a real wolf at all, or must Rolf first discover his deep-down carnivorous side?

“Are we all sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin …” Shireen’s picture book is in clever in the way that it plays with familiar story-time tropes and characters. The plot follows Rolf and his encounter with a ‘real’ wolf – a big, bad razor-toothed creature – who encourages him to try out being “BIG and BAD” himself. Rolf makes a good go at howling, huffing and puffing, but there seems to be something missing. It is only when Rolf is asked to prove himself by eating up his good friend Mrs Boggins that a strange, wild feeling comes over him … 

Shireen’s illustrations invite laughter and will encourage many re-readings. Entertaining but also thought-provoking, this picture book and its lovable lupine hero will open channels for discussion about identity, stereotyping and how we might stand up for what we believe in. 

Written and illustrated by Nadia Shireen
Lydia Mihailovic, literary editor
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