Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse

Publish November 21, 2017

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse is the latest spectacularly surreal picture book from the award-winning duo of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. A forlorn mouse fears the end is near when he is swallowed by a hungry wolf. Much to the little critter’s surprise, there’s a whole new world inside the belly of the beast. A duck has already taken up residence, and offers the mouse breakfast. While breaking bread, the talk turns existential and the duck affirms: “I live well! I may have been swallowed, but I have no intention of being eaten.” The mouse decides to stay too, and the new roommates celebrate with a dance party. The ruckus causes the wolf’s stomach to ache and makes him an easy target for a hunter. When the stability of their home is threatened, the duck (donning a colander helmet) and the mouse (wielding a hockey stick) emerge in a blaze of glory. The appreciative wolf grants his defenders their hearts’ desire – which is to return to his idyllic innards.

Jon Klassen’s trademark minimalist artwork and deadpan humour are on fine display here. The wolf’s tummy is a cozy abode, complete with a festive tablecloth, a record player, and framed pictures lining the walls. Emotions are conveyed through the characters’ expressive eyes, from startled surprise, to steely determination. Readers will gobble up this deliciously wry and witty fable.

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse

Mac Barnett
Illustration EN: Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-7754-1

Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and QuireSchool Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.

The National Reading Campaign publishes children's book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.