Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Brave Charlotte and the Wolves

Charlotte the sheep has a sense of adventure and is courageous without being reckless.  She simply seeks a different point of view which might mean the top of a tree. Her heroism is admired by most of the flock, but there is a small group of brazen young sheep who lack gratitude and good manners. This group has taken to calling themselves "The Wolves" and bullying other sheep and the sheepdog with their fake wolf howls. One night, a very real wolf-like howl cowers the herd with the exception of Charlotte, who decides to go into the woods and find the source of the howling.  What she finds is surprising and what she does with it is even more surprising.

Anu Stohner has translated Brave Charlotte and the Wolves from a German story written by Carl Hanser Verlag.  I like the character lessons you can teach with this book (bullying, respect for elders) and the surprise ending lends itself to lessons on prediction or cause and effect. It would be a good lesson to discuss Charlotte's clever way of handling the bullying of the younger sheep. Henrike Wilson's acrylic paint illustrations are delightful and accentuate the mood of each scene.

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