Written and Illustrated by Delphine Perret
Sterling Publishing, 2006
Usually, when I get home from school, nothing exciting happens.
Did You Know? A single wolf can eat almost 20 pounds of meat at one sitting.
One day, the boy narrating the story meets the Big Bad Wolf and mistakes him for a dog. The wolf tells him no one believes in him anymore, so the boy takes him home to live in his closet. He wants to name him Zorro, which he thinks is a cool name, but the wolf says his name is actually Bernard. He feeds Bernard, plays games with him and slowly teaches him to be scary again. Bernard goes to the boy’s school and manages to scare all the kids there and the boy is pretty impressed and he now likes the name Bernard better than Zorro.
Although author/illustrator Delphine Perret has published several books in her native France, this is the first of her books to be published in the United States. It goes against the norm for picture books in several ways. First, the story is told in twelve small chapters of only a few pages each. Most pages feature four panels that tell the story in comic book/graphic novel style, with much of the book’s text taking place as dialogue between the wolf and the boy. Even the dialogue is pretty minimal, actually, with the pictures telling us a great deal about these characters and their interaction. It’s a very funny book (and some of the humor is a little on the dark side), but there’s a lot of warmth at the end, when the boy and wolf sit down together once Bernard has gotten his ‘big bad’ back. Ms. Perret has published a sequel called The Big Bad Wolf Goes on Vacation, which I’m looking forward to reading.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that sometimes all it takes is for just one person to believe in you.