Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the Snow

Mei Matsuoka
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Henry Holt and Co., 2008   ISBN: 978-0805087925

One snowy winter's evening Wolf sits and reads books about wolves. He is appalled that all of the stories depict wolves as being "nasty, scary, and greedy." Wolf is none of these things, and he decides that he will write a story about a "NICE" wolf.

And so Wolf begins his story. He describes how Mr. Nice Wolf went out for a walk after a snowfall and how he saw a set of footprints leading into the woods. Mr. Nice Wolf followed the footprints and he tried to find out who they belonged to because he wanted to make a new friend. All the animals that he met in the forest were very wary of Mr. Nice Wolf, and none of them trusted him. On Mr. Nice Wolf goes until, at last Mr. Nice Wolf finds the animal who made the footprints.

As he writes this part of his story something rather unfortunate starts to happen to Wolf. Could it be that he is no better than all the wolves he read about in those books?

Children who have a fondness for fairy tales will enjoy this interesting portrayal of a wolf who so very much wants to be a model citizen, and who struggles with his inner wolfishness. Best of all Mei Matsuoka creates an ending that will keep readers guessing. Will Wolf be able to rise above his baser instincts?

With a wry sense of humor and wonderful illustrations, Mei Matsuoka tells a delightful story.