Friday, 28 February 2020

Waiting for Wolf by Sandra Dieckman

Fox and Wolf are best friends, swimming and playing together by the beautiful lake. Their days are perfect. Until, suddenly, Wolf is gone, and Fox has to go on alone...

I've had this one for a while, but I was hoping to wait until I could get through it without crying to write the review. That doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon, so let's just get on.

First of all, Sandra Dieckmann's illustrations are amazing. They manage to be both true to life and stylized at the same time, with swirls and decorative lines everywhere. They're absolutely gorgeous and I could spend hours looking at them, picking out details.

But if you're buying this book, it's probably for the story, which is heartbreakingly good. Fox seems a little younger than Wolf, although maybe that's just because she's smaller. There are two pages that get me every time, even without reading any of the rest of the book. One is describing how Fox comes looking for Wolf, excited to see him, but can't find him. The other is the page where she accepts that he's gone;

"Wolf...are you there?" she whispered.

There was no answer.

Fox did not call for Wolf again. In her heart, she knew that Wolf was never coming back.

The picture accompanying it has Fox curled up very small, burying herself in her grief.

But the grief doesn't linger. Almost at once, Fox starts to remember the good times she shared with Wolf, and she understands that those memories will never leave her. Unlike many other books on bereavement, she isn't surrounded by other friends who can help, nor is it implied that she needs them. Her memories are enough to get her moving and living again.

I know this review is a little incoherent, and I'm sorry for that, because this book deserves a really good review. If you are, sadly, in a position of needing a bereavement book, please consider this one. Or buy it for the beautiful illustrations. Either way, you won't be disappointed.





Fox and Wolf spend all their perfect days together - talking and laughing for hours, swimming together in the big blue lake, and watching the stars come out, one by one.

Until one day, Wolf is gone.

A moving tale of friendship and loss and learning to carry on, stunningly illustrated by an outstanding new picture book talent.

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