“The Shepherd’s Boy and the Wolf” by Aesop

I always knew this fable by the name “The Boy who Cried Wolf.” It’s a well-known story about a shepherd boy who calls “wolf, wolf!” but just laughs at his neighbors when they come to help him. Eventually, as we know, the wolf truly does come, but no one believes the boy when he calls, so all the sheep are killed.

There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.

Aesop’s fable are so short and to the point that I tend to like the books based on them more. The stories add a little to the original and the illustrations in picture books catch kids’ attention while keeping the lesson. So I stopped at the library yesterday to find a version of The Boy who Cried Wolf, but our library didn’t have any that weren’t checked out. They did have The Wolf Who Cried Boy however.

The Wolf Who Cried Boy by Bob Hartman, illustrated by Tim Raglin

(Suggested reading level: K – Grade 3)

I guess this would be considered a fractured version of the fable, and it is hilarious. Little Wolf is tired of eating lamburgers, chocolate moose, and muskratatouille. He wants to eat boy— boy chops, baked boy-tato, boys-n-berry pie. His parents promise Little Wolf that if he ever finds a boy in the woods they will catch him and cook him up.

The next day Little Wolf decides to play a trick on his parents and when he gets home from school he yells,

“Boy! Boy! I’ve just seen a boy in the woods! If we hurry, we can catch him!”

Of course, there’s no boy, but his parents spend so long looking for a boy that dinner is ruined and they have to eat snacks instead. Since every little wolf likes snack food instead of dinner, the same thing happens the next day, but his parents catch on and vow to each other to ignore Little Wolf’s silly tricks the next night.

Poor Little Wolf. The next day he really does see a boy, in fact a whole bunch of boys, Troop 7.

So he ran into the cave, shouting, “There are boys out there! Dozens of them! Big ones and little ones. Fat ones and skinny ones. Enough to fill our freezer and Auntie’s freezer, too!”

His parents totally dismiss him, not even looking when one of the boys sneaks into their cave.

This is a laugh-out-loud funny picture book. The moral is still there, that people don’t believe liars, but the twist makes it perfect read aloud story. And the illustrations are delightful, especially the wolves’ expressions. I wish we had had a copy of this when Amber was younger. I bet it would have been a favorite at our house.

Tif, from Tif Talks Books, is the hostess of this great feature, Fairy Tale Fridays. Head over there to see what she has to say and to share your own thoughts. Next week, we’ll be looking at “Peach Boy” or “Momotaro” a Japanese folktale.

Published in 2002
32 pages

Challenges: 100+

I borrowed my copy from the library and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.