The big bad wolf in my house

Valérie Fontaine, 1980-

Book - 2021

"The young girl tells us that her mom's new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf's cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn't smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, ...throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl's arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room. How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce? Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope."--

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Fontaine Checked In
Children's Room jE/Fontaine Checked In
Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
Toronto ; Berkeley : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press 2021.
Language
English
French
Item Description
Translation of: Le grand méchant loup dans ma maison.
First published in France in 2020 by Éditions Les 400 coups.
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Issued also in electronic format
ISBN
9781773065014
1773065017
Main Author
Valérie Fontaine, 1980- (author)
Other Authors
Nathalie Dion, 1964- (illustrator), Shelley Tanaka (translator)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This piercing account of the pain that results when adults harm those around them shows an abuser entering a child's life as a parent's partner. The titular fairy tale metaphor delivers a clear note of threat: "He didn't need to huff, or puff/ or blow the house down.../ The big bad wolf just walked in the door." In simple, grainy spreads of a white child with straight brown hair and a pink barrette, Dion (The Biggest Puddle in the World) delivers the story's message with restraint, showing the results of violence rather than the acts themselves. A broken plate lies on the floor, its food scattered; the child looks at blue finger marks on their arm ("I had to cover them up with long sleeves, even when it was hot out") and lines their shoes up in a perfect line ("I made myself as quiet as a lamb"). At last, mother and child escape to a shelter, where the protagonist instantly feels safe. The first-person telling's candid descriptions of powerlessness, its emotional ramifications, and the prospect of escape all give language to an experience of abuse and let readers in similar circumstances know that they are not alone. Ages 4–8. (Mar.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 4—In a straightforward manner, a small girl narrates how life changes drastically after the Big Bad Wolf moves into her home. The girl and her mother live together until the mother's boyfriend joins the household. At first, they all seem to get along but for the cold looks he directs at the child. One evening the mother is held up in heavy traffic and the wolf goes into a rage. The wolf, shown as a wolf while mother and daughter are stylized, almost fairy-tale perfect humans, does nothing to help around the house and angers easily, often "howling" at them and throwing his dinner on the floor when it's cold. The girl tries to become invisible when she hears his raised voice but that doesn't work and there are times she has to hide her bruises with long sleeves. He enters her bedroom uninvited but what occurs is left to the imagination: "So I built a fort made of bricks. I put it up around my heart." Life dramatically changes again the day her mother packs a bag and they flee to a shelter. This brave book is not merely bibliotherapy. It's a form of deliverance for those who are young, silenced, or inarticulate, while older children will want to discuss more elaborately the issues it addresses. The art resonates, casting simple shapes to allow the text to bear the weight of what is said, and what is not. VERDICT Children who need this book will understand the subtext, and as no community is safe from domestic abuse, the hopeful message will encourage those experiencing similar situations to talk. For every collection.—Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek P.L., WI Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A young girl describes what it’s like when her mom’s new friend comes to stay — a moving story about domestic violence that ends on a hopeful note.

The young girl tells us that her mom’s new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf’s cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn’t smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl’s arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room.

How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce?

Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A young girl describes what it's like when her mom's new friend comes to stay ' a moving story about domestic violence that ends on a hopeful note.The young girl tells us that her mom's new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf's cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn't smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl's arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room.How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce?Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope.