Wulfie: Stage Fright
Lindsay J. Sedgwick, illustrated by Josephine Wolff
Little Island Books
Young Libby is something of a Cinderella character with an archetypal wicked step-mother who makes her life a misery while doting on her own son, Rex (a real meanie). Her father is too busy being a boffin to notice what’s going on, or even listen properly to most of what his daughter has to say.
Consequently Libby is excited to discover in an old trunk in her bedroom, a little purple wolf-like creature that she names Wulfie for short. Said creature has three tummies, the ability to grow and shrink pretty much at will and an aptitude for getting into trouble; he quickly becomes Libby’s best friend on account of his sweetness and loyalty.
When Libby’s teacher announces that she’s written a play to be performed by the pupils and entitled The Big Bad Wolf Learns his Lesson, she longs to star in it. However there seems little chance especially as Rex (also in her class) has drama lessons.
Nevertheless, her name is signed up on the auditions list
and thanks to Wulfie, she lands the part of her dreams.
Then comes the hard work but up steps Head Coach of Wolfing, aka Wulfie, to help her get to grips with the lupine moves and sounds she needs for a stellar performance, aided and abetted by her other new friend and classmate Nazim.
But come the big day, will Libby be able to produce a performance worthy of Ms Emily’s ‘Be spectacular’? And, can she finally get her own back on her brother?
Young readers will empathise with the long-suffering Libby who, despite everything remains determined and positive; and there’s plenty to laugh at too.
The other characters- pleasant or unpleasant – are also memorable, made all the more so through Josephine Wolff’s black and grey illustrations.