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Betsy Who Cried Wolf    by Gail Carson Levine & Scott Nash order for
Betsy Who Cried Wolf
by Gail Carson Levine
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2002)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Fairy tales turned on their heads is this author's specialty. Levine is also the creator of the popular Ella Enchanted book-turned-movie and many other princess fairy tale books.

In this picture book, Betsy Red Hoodie is a shepherd caring for her flock of sheep. Her primary concern is to protect her flock against the big, bad wolf. The wolf concocts a plan to attack the sheep, but every time Betsy spots him and calls for help from the other shepherds, he disappears. Of course, all the other shepherds become angry when Betsy cries wolf and don't believe that the wolf is lurking, intending to harm the sheep. They are so angry with her that they send her back to Shepherd School.

When Betsy is restored to her flock, the wolf inevitably makes another appearance. Will Betsy be able to save the flock? Will she regain the farmers' trust and respect? And is it possible to actually feel sorry for a skinny, hungry big, bad wolf? An expected ending will make children happy as they applaud Betsy's ingenuity and courage. And it's equally important to know that no animal(s) were harmed in the creation of this book!

There are not a lot of artistic distinctions between the humans and the animals, who are depicted as two-legged. Overall the book is a good read aloud, other than the slight distraction of the sidebar conversations of the sheep.

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