Wolf in the Snow

A wordless story about two unlikely friends coming together to help each other.

Picture book, fiction, wordless
Interest level: K-3
4 out of 5 stars


A little girl who is lost in a snowstorm encounters a wolf cub who is lost as well. They come together to comfort each other as the girl struggles through the snow. They follow the howls of the wolves looking for the cub and the cub is reunited with his pack. As the girl struggles on through the snow, the pack follows her and ultimately keeps her safe when she collapses. The story ends with the girl’s dog and family calling for her until they locate her.

The idea of the two species mirroring each others behavior and taking care of each other when in need is special. I think some children will really like the story, but I have to admit it is a little dire. There is a lot of tension as the girl and wolf cub struggle, especially as the girl becomes so weak she falls in the snow and is unable to get up. That could be disturbing for some children.

I like Matthew Cordell’s illustrations, and the idea of inter species friendship. The theme of caring about others in need is important.


Wolf in the Snow
by Matthew Cordell
Feiwel and Friends, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-25007-636-6

Skunk on a String; 3 out of 5 stars #bookaday

by Thao Lam
Owlkids Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-77147-131-2
Wordless picture book
Interest level: Preschool to grade 1
3 out of 5 stars


This wordless picture book begins with the endpapers inside the front cover. We see a single red balloon floating by, which joins larger balloon animals on the title page. As we turn to the first page of the story, a full page of cut-paper collage illustrations let us see that we have joined a parade, with costumed people holding large balloon animals. The next page has us closing in on some of the balloon animals, and we notice a little skunk, whose foot has gotten entangled in the red balloon string that we first saw inside the cover.

The remainder of the story follows poor skunk’s adventures as he floats through the city, getting shooed away, encountering animals in the zoo, and avoiding automobile traffic to be carried out of the city. Skunk’s expression show his anguish and fear as he encounters many different situations. There is a surprise ending, which could lead to some good discussions about how persistence and courage can help us develop as people.

Young children will love to study the whimsical collage illustrations to decode exactly what is happening and where skunk is going to go next. Don’t forget to check out the endpaper at the back of the book, to really tie the story all together from beginning to end.

Book review: The Chicken Thief; 4 out of 5 stars #bookaday

The Chicken Thief book coverby Beatrice Rodriguez
Wordless picture book
Interest level: Pre-K through grade 2
4 out of 5 stars


If you are going to review a book intended for a young reader, it is important to consider the work from that angle–how will a child interpret this story? The Chicken Thief is a wordless picture book that plays on stereotypes and how we expect characters to act.

A sneaky fox snatches up a helpless chicken, whose friends take up a cross-country chase to save their friend. Because the book features no text, it is up to the observant reader to notice character’s expressions and small actions, in order to realize that all is not as it would originally seem. Young readers will delight in figuring out what is going on before the characters do.

Some adult readers may be bothered by the abduction aspect, or the jilted spouse who is visibly upset when the story concludes, but those are understandings and emotions that adults bring to the story, and it is unlikely that children will draw these conclusions. This is a fun story that is meant to explore stereotypes and acting out of character.