When a Wolf is Hungry, Christine Naumann-Villemin, Kris Di Giacomo (illustrations), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2017.

Edmond Bigsnout is a hungry wolf. He leaves the forest and heads to the big city to find himself a “grain-fed, silky rabbit.” He enters an apartment complex and finds the name of Max Omatose, miniature rabbit. It seems perfect.

Maybe too perfect. 

Each time Edmond attempts to “prepare” his meal, a neighbor in the apartment building has a need for Edmond’s tool – his chainsaw, his rope, even his big pot. Each time Edmond shares his item and rides his bicycle back to the forest to get something else.

Finally, mistaken as the new neighbor in the building, he is invited to the roof. There all the neighbors who borrowed things from him were there, having a cook-out for him, the new neighbor.

My Take

When a Wolf is Hungry is surprising good book. At first I wasn’t sure about it because of the wolf’s desire to kill and eat Max the miniature rabbit. I’ll be honest, reading to my toddler, I changed some of the language. The book seems to be a good fit for children ages five to eight.

The illustrations from Kris Di Giacomo only enhances Naumann-Villemin’s story, balancing neighborliness and peril. From his sharp fangs to his dapper tuxedo, Di Giacomo’s drawings are engaging and compelling. I’m certain that this is one reason why Toddler J enjoys this book.

Love Your Neighbor

Intentional or not, the story is a great conversation starter about what it means to be a good neighbor. Even though Edmond has his own agenda, he is a good neighbor, loaning out his belongings. In turn, the neighbors throw him a party. Along the way, Edmond changes by becoming a vegetarian and a bit more gentle.

Turns out loving your neighbor is a happy ending. For wolf and rabbit.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.