The Book Corner: The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (a Book Review)

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell. A photo of the book cover

“There are a whole lot of things in the world of ours that you haven’t started wondering about yet…”

The Old Green Grasshopper, James and the Giant Peach.

 Front cover of the wolf wilder book by katherine rundell

For some kids, reading a book can be a bit of a chore. I found that with my eldest until recently. Despite my best efforts to help him and to encourage a love of reading, I wasn’t having much luck. This changed however, when he picked up a book about a young Wizard we all know very well. He has read 4 of the books so far and is keen to read the others. And that is what I think the secret is with some children, capturing their imagination. If you have that, that’s half the battle won. I still wouldn’t say he is a book-worm, not like I was at his age, but he is getting there.

My friends daughter however, Lily, is a book fiend. She loves them! So much so, she has to be torn away from her book at bedtime to make her go to sleep. I think it is wonderful, and her mum does too to a certain extent but I can see how it becomes a bit of a nightmare and it must also seem completely bonkers to have to demand your child to stop reading!

Because Lily is such a book-worm, when I was sent a new book to review, I asked her if she would like to read and review it for me, which she jumped at, obviously!

So, here is a very comprehensive and articulate review of a new book (it is out now) called, The Wolf Wilder, by Lily. Age 8.

Thanks Lily, my new book review assistant!

 Rundell’s Amazing Book: The Wolf Wilder

By Lily, age 8.

A child's handwritten review of a book called The Wolf Wilder

What is the book about?

Lily: “Feo and her Mother, Mama, tame Wolves to be wild again but, one night, Rakov’s men burn down Feo’s house and take Mama to jail. With her new friends, Ilya and Alexei, can they get Alexei’s town to start up an army and get Mama back? Find out more in the book…”

Life is Knutts: As Lily says, The Wolf Wilder is a book about a young girl called Feo, who lives with her mother, Mama, in the woods. The book is set in Pre-Revolutionary Russia and is written by Katherine Rundell, and illustrated by Gelrev Ongbinco. We are told the tale of how the rich upper classes in Russia loved to have wolves as pets, as wolves are thought to be precious and magical animals. To kill a wolf, is to damn the person who did so to a fate worse than death. Sadly, because Wolves are wild animals, they inevitably end up going mad in the confines of their aristocratic homes and end up hurting people. Because the wolves are too precious to be killed, even if they have killed a human, they are sent to the wolf wilder in the woods (Mama) who attempts to re-teach the wolves how to  be wild again. The book is full of mystery and almost feels like a Gothic fairy-tale.  It’s a story about standing up for yourself and what you believe in (a very important life lesson) and takes the reader on an adventure in a truly gripping way.

What did you think about the book? Did you have a favourite part?

Lily: “It’s a really interesting story of how Feo and Mama keep wolf wilding a secret, but how long will it last? I liked the drama and how Feo survived the weather whilst she was on the run. I also liked reading about how she escapes Rakov’s men. Halfway through, poor Feo meets Ilya and then a young boy called, Alexei. They make an army, set Mama free and escape. But what about Rakov? Read the book to find out more…”

(She is good Lily, isn’t she?! Is she making you want to go and buy the book to find out what happens for yourself? I think she definitely has a future career in book reviews or sales…)

Life is Knutts: As Lily has said above, her favourite parts of the book seem to be the parts where there is action and suspense aplenty. It certainly made Lily want to keep reading and she finished the whole book in 3 days. Pretty impressive, eh?! 

Thank you for your lovely review Lily! I am really glad you enjoyed the book.

The back cover of the Wolf wilder book.

 On a personal note, I loved the illustrations in this book. There were just enough of them to break up the text and to help the reader visualise what the author had in mind for that particular scene in the book. They were all black and white, but I loved that about them. The book is set in the depths of the Russian woods in the bleakest of winters and this is really portrayed in the atmospheric and wispy ink/pencil sketches you see dotted throughout. They completely draw you in…

 In conclusion, I would say this is a wonderful book for anyone aged 8 upwards to read. I loved it and Lily loved it too. It captures the imagination, it sucks you in (making you want to read it all in one go) and it also teaches you a bit about Russia history in the process. An adventure book with a twist, which is sure to be a hit, regardless of your age.

The descriptions are so vivid by Rundell that you can almost feel the snow and ice under your feet. To be able to make a reader feel such emotion and so at home in a story is quite a feat. I truly believe this book, in time, will become a modern classic.

The perfect book to snuggle up with under a blanket this Winter, or perhaps to fill a young person’s christmas stocking.

I know I would be happy to receive it from Father Christmas.

You can buy your own copy of The Wolf Wilder in all good bookshops and online.

Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of The Wolf Wilder to review. All words, thoughts, opinions and photos are my own…oh, and Lilys’!


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