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

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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
Written By

VALÉRIE FONTAINE has published more than thirty-five books for young people. She frequently visits schools to share her inspiring work with children and teachers, and she reads stories to hundreds of children live on Facebook every week. Valérie loves writing books as much as she loves reading and talking about them. She lives in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Illustrated by

Nathalie Dion is an illustrator living in Montreal who studied Design Arts at Concordia University. Her other children’s books include I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree by Jean E. Pendziwol, The Biggest Puddle in the World by Mark Lee and What’s in Your Purse? by Abigail Samoun. Nathalie has received a number of awards for her illustration and has exhibited her work in Montreal galleries.

Written By

VALÉRIE FONTAINE has published more than thirty-five books for young people. She frequently visits schools to share her inspiring work with children and teachers, and she reads stories to hundreds of children live on Facebook every week. Valérie loves writing books as much as she loves reading and talking about them. She lives in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Illustrated by

Nathalie Dion is an illustrator living in Montreal who studied Design Arts at Concordia University. Her other children’s books include I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree by Jean E. Pendziwol, The Biggest Puddle in the World by Mark Lee and What’s in Your Purse? by Abigail Samoun. Nathalie has received a number of awards for her illustration and has exhibited her work in Montreal galleries.

Commended, OLA Best Bets Honourable Mention, 2021

Commended, CCBC Choices, 2022

Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year, 2022

Short-listed, Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picturebook of the Year Award, 2022

[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. STARRED REVIEW

” —School Library Journal

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

A skillfully crafted, emotionally honest treatment of a very challenging subject.

” —Horn Book

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