Review: Wulfie - Stage Fright by Lindsay Sedgwick; illustrated by Josephine Wolff Here
Since her mother was misplaced shortly after she was born, Libby Lou Flannagans’ life has not been great. She lives with her inventor father, her mean step-mother and a step-brother, Rex who is 4 days older than her. Rex thinks up ever-increasing, terrifying stories about ‘the Big, Bad Wolf’ to scare her with and Libby spends her time cleaning, packing his lunches and getting the blame for…well, everything. She has no time to shine her own light. Then one day, Libby meets a new best friend when out of her grandfathers’ trunk appears Wulfie! Wulfie is just like any puppy, except that he is purple, can shrink down very small or grow very big (sometimes on purpose, often not) and has an unusual diet (stinky socks…the stinkier the better.) He’s very sweet, but incredibly mischievous and completely devoted to getting Libby out of trouble and wreaking revenge on Rex, all the while trying to stay out of sight. But when Libby lands the leading role in the school play (accidently and thanks to Wulfie), things get a little complicated….
A perfect blend of fairytales...
With the background of a Cinderella-type story and a few hints at other familiar fairytales, this book is a real joy. Dealing with issues like absentee parents, bullying and self-confidence, the story springs onto the page with laughter, just the right amount of fright and a huge dollop of heart. The characters are wonderfully painted; genuine and utterly relatable. While Libby is a fantastic character, it is of course Wulfie who steals the show. He is an incredible, quirky creation. You never know what he’ll do next…or how Libby will save him from himself. The plot moves along in a steady pace, building a fun-filled drama and tension that propel the reader along with an excitement that begs you to keep your eyes wide open. The black and white illustrations peppered throughout the book bring the story to life, adding to the sense of the theatrical embedded in the tale. Fantastically funny, heartfelt and warm, a delight to read that will leave you wanting more. Perfect for ages 9+ or reading aloud.