CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 20. . . .February 3, 2017
Wolfie & Fly.
Cary Fagan. Illustrated by Zoe Si.
Toronto, ON: Tundra, 2017.
84 pp., hardcover & eBook, $19.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-10191-820-3 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-10191-821-0 (eBook).
Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.
Review by Janet Beauchamp.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
Livingston pushed himself over to the bin. He began tossing things out – a Ping-Pong paddle, a cowboy hat, a hand puppet, swim fins. Hmm, none of these are right. Wait a minute, what about the bin itself? He dumped everything out and turned the bin upside down. It’s even clear so you can see through it. Just put this over your head. You’ve got to be kidding me. Hey, if a cardboard box can be a submarine, I don’t see why a plastic bin won’t work as a diving helmet.”
The novel Wolfie and Fly, by Cary Fagan, is a cute, little nine chapter story which would be a great easy read for young readers who want to start reading chapter books. It is the first installment in a series focussed on the adventures of Renata Wolfman, who is called Wolfie by her peers as she is a lone wolf, and her neighbour Livingston Flott, who everybody calls Fly as he buzzes around and annoys everybody. This unlikely friendship blossoms, despite the fact that Wolfie does not like other kids as they talk too much, they want to play boring games and their noses drip. Wolfie & Fly stumble into a friendship after Livingston incessantly rings Renata’s doorbell because his brother is after him.
Adventure ensues as Livingston’s creativity results in an afternoon of ocean exploration reminiscent of young children having more fun playing in the boxes used to wrap the new presents rather than the gifts themselves. Wolfie’s parents just bought a new refrigerator, and the box is transformed into a submarine. A burst pipe in the neighbourhood resulting in widespread flooding is a twist the reader does not expect.
The unlikely friendship of Wolfie and Fly is believable despite Renata’s dislike for peers her age. Fly is just pushy enough to make it work, and the fact that they are neighbours will likely mean that there are many adventures to come. While the Lone Wolf would rather read, learn about sea turtles and always make sure her foods stay separated, I’m sure these two “friends” will have tons of fun in their upcoming escapades.
Janet Beauchamp, a high school teacher, teacher-librarian, and mother of three girls, lives in L’Amable, ON.
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