Waiting for Wolf

Waiting for Wolf
Sandra Dieckmann
Hodder Children’s

Have a box of tissues at the ready when you read this new Sandra Dieckmann picture book.

Good friends Fox and Wolf pass their time happily by the lake, talking, laughing and sometimes taking a dip.

One day as they sit together, Wolf entreats his friend “promise you’ll always remember this perfect day.”

As night falls, Wolf tenderly embraces Fox telling him quietly, “Tomorrow I will be starlight.” Content, but unsure what he means, Fox lets it be.

The following morning she goes out in the hope of finding her friend sparkling like a star but of Wolf there is no sign.

That evening Fox goes to their favourite lakeside place, still waiting and hoping to see Wolf. Could he be up in the sky, wonders Fox as she gazes at the twinkling stars.

She decides to climb up the mountain towards the brightest star in the firmament and on reaching the top calls out her friend’s name but all around is silence.

Reaching up Fox takes hold of the blanket of stars and enfolds herself within. Once more, in a soft whisper now, she asks, “Wolf are you there?”

Now deep inside knowing that her friend has gone, she lets her tears flow;

but then she sees something amazing in the darkness and she recalls Wolf’s words on their final day together. Back comes a stream of happy memories and as Fox replaces the star blanket, a feeling of peace takes its place, and with it an understanding of her friend’s talk of starlight.

Sandra Diekmann’s deeply affecting story of love and loss is stunningly illustrated. With exquisite details of the flora and fauna, every spread is breath-takingly beautiful. The sight of Fox enveloping herself in the starry blanket left me with a lump in my throat; her sense of loss is truly palpable.

What better book than this to open discussion about bereavement and coming to terms with it?

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