The Wolf’s Story – Toby Forward

This book cries to be read-aloud and is an excellent choice for primary school pupils! Little readers will love secret guessing this funny fairy tale by Toby Forward, which is based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but cleverly told from the Wolf’s point of view.

From the first page, the wolf attempts to convince the reader that he isn’t a bad wolf, and that this whole mess is not his fault.  He says he has been helping grandma around the house doing odd jobs and they are good friends.  He expresses that he feels left out when the “the kid” visits weekly as little Red never speaks to him.

The wolf starts by telling you about the day it all happened, and how Little Red was on her way over to see Grandma with her basket of toffees, which the wolf thought were far to sticking for grandma’s false teeth.  So he rushes home to warn grandma to hide her false teeth, when suddenly he accidentally knocks her out cold after bumping her into her wardrobe.  He starts to panic as Red is getting nearer, so quick thinking he puts grandma’s dress on and jumps into her bed.

When Red arrives, the reader will recognize the fairy tale original line “what big eyes you have” but the wolf responses are far from the original tale, he makes up things like he has recently got new contacts, or these old things, referring to his ears.  Red is just about to give the wolf a toffee when he jumps from the bed which makes her think the wolf is going to eat her, she starts to scream and with that a woodman appears at the door and chops a little part of the wolf’s tail off as he jumps out of the window.  The story finishes with the wolf thanking the readers for listening to him and his side of the story and offers his services to help with any odd jobs, that people might have.

The book is not the only thing that will keep you gripped, the illustrations are also amazing and great for children to follow the story.  The illustrations make the wolf look charming, and Little Red appear frightened or unsure of what she has just found at her grandma’s house.

Activities for the classroom

  • Hot seat some of the characters, so that the children can ask questions
  • Story board: Children to re-tell the story, adding extra detail and description. Also good to assess comprehension – have they understood the story? Can they recall main events?
  • Diary entry from the wolfs point of view, including feelings.
  • Drama games and maybe act the story out in small groups.
  • Class debate – so the children can decide who’s sides of the story they believe.

Caroline Yeates

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