The Big Bad Wolf in My House

The Big Bad Wolf in My House

Written by: Fontaine, Valérie
Illustrated by: Dion, Nathalie
Translated by: Tanaka, Shelley
ages 4 to 8 / grades K to 3

A young girl describes what it’s like when her mom’s new friend comes to stay — a moving story about domestic violence that ends on a hopeful note.

The young girl tells us that her mom’s new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf’s cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn’t smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl’s arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room.

How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce?

Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.9
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.2
Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

A young girl describes what it’s like when her mom’s new friend comes to stay — a moving story about domestic violence that ends on a hopeful note.

The young girl tells us that her mom’s new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf’s cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn’t smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl’s arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room.

How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce?

Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.9
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.2
Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd - Mar 1, 2021
Specifications 32 pages | 8.375 in x 10.875 in
Supporting Resources
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Teacher's Guide

Praise for author Valérie Fontaine and illustrator Nathalie Dion for The Big Bad Wolf in My House:

"[T]his is powerful stuff." — Wall Street Journal

“Masterfully done.” — Kirkus, starred review

"This brave book is not merely bibliotherapy. It’s a form of deliverance for those who are young, silenced, or inarticulate … The art resonates, casting simple shapes to allow the text to bear the weight of what is said, and what is not." — School Library Journal, starred review

“The first-person telling’s candid descriptions of powerlessness, its emotional ramifications, and the prospect of escape all give language to an experience of abuse and let readers in similar circumstances know that they are not alone.” — Publishers Weekly

“Structuring the story around a simple, familiar fairy tale serves as an effective, age-appropriate introduction to this tough topic for very young children.” — Quill & Quire

"This isn’t any easy book but it’s an important one." — Globe and Mail

"[T]his brave new work showcases some of Canada’s most experienced and talented children’s literature creators … likely to resonate with readers on a symbolic level, just like the best fairy tales do." — CM Review of Materials

"Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have taken us through the darkness from a child's perspective and shown us an outcome that offers the promise of respite." — CanLit for Little Canadians

"[A]n incredibly powerful story." — Storytime With Stephanie Blog

“An intense — but important and utterly age-appropriate — look at something that will, sadly, speak to many children.” — Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast Blog

“… offers a perspective that is both candid and striking, making it possible to feel all [the little girl’s] distress and fragility without ever having an adult’s vision blur or moralize the affair. Playing in contrast with the violence of the subject, Nathalie Dion’s soft illustrations … immerse the reader in a seemingly cozy and comforting decor.” — Le devoir (translation)