Sunday, January 13, 2013

Let's start from the very beginning: Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf, by Catherine Storr

For my first official book review, I'm going to write about my absolute favorite book from the ages 5 to 9. That's right, Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf. I loved it. Looking back, I still do. The book is a collection of short stories, (loosely) based on Little Red Riding Hood, featuring seven-year-old Polly and the wolf who wants to eat her. The stories are hilarious in a droll sort of way, and as a little kid, I loved them. On weekends, or whenever I came home from school, I'd sit in my room for hours and listen to the tape I'd found at my library. The book was first published in England, 1955, but the plot of each story was strong enough to transcend the culture/time barrier. I might not have known what a perambulator or meat pasty was, but that didn't matter. When the wolf tried to change himself into a fox, when he got himself locked in a zoo, I rooted for the wolf as well as Polly. The wolf wasn't a threatening villain, he was just too stupid for that. Even Polly admits that, at the end of chapter six:
"I'm glad," thought Polly, "he didn't blow my house down. I hope he wont go now and blow himself up."
The book's sequel, Polly and the Wolf Again, was just as good, introducing the character of Polly's little sister, Lucy, who proves to be just as clever as Polly. This is honestly still one of the best and funniest books I've ever read, and I'd recommend it to anyone, no matter what age.
I'll end with a quote.
Dear Polly, this is a Threatening letter. If you don't come and see me at once, I shall
eat you all up. Yours sincerely,
A. Wolfe.

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