________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 17. . . .January 8, 2016


The Night of the Were Boy. (Race Further with Reading).

Enid Richemont. Illustrated by Gustavo Mazali.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $10.95 (pbk.), $23.49 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-2111-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-2087-4 (RLB).

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Robert Groberman.

*** /4



"Well, there's a full moon tonight."
"So what?" Frankie yawned. "I'm a cat."
"Maybe cats can get changed into other things, too."
Frankie made a face.
"A wolf would be OK," he grumbled...[b]ut who wants to
look like a boy? Yuck!"


Enid Richemontís primary reading level chapter book, The Night of the Were Boy, is at once attractive by its title and cover illustration to children interested in the mythology surrounding werewolves and to the immediate relationship to a cat becoming a boy.

     These are high interest subjects in the world of grades one to three. The story of Frankie, a house cat who, during a full moon, discovers that he is changing into a young boy, is interesting on different levels. First, Frankie cannot understand what is happening to him. Readers do, and they will enjoy watching him figure it out. Readers then enjoy Frankie trying to explain that he is the now changed house cat of Martin, his familyís son who is visually the same age (around 8 or 9) of the boy Frankie has become.

     As Frankie and Martin try to solve the problem of the cat now become a boy, and discovering burglars in the backyard who donít want their burglary scheme interrupted, the two become friends and Frankie, the Were Boy, becomes a hero.

     The dialogue between these two main characters is fascinating as they understand their new situations, explain them to each other, and so to the reader, and then find solutions to all that is amiss. The language used by author Richemont is accessible to an advanced grade one student and a confident grade two.

     A page, "Notes for Adults", follows the story text, and it includes questions and activities for pre reading, after reading and how to assist readers during reading. These ideas are very basic and will assist adults who are looking to teach or improve decoding skills and comprehension using this book. The comprehension questions are quite good, going beyond naming characters, and encourage young readers to think about story and even point of view.


Robert Groberman is a grade one teacher at Katzie Elementary School in Surrey, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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