An Aesop’s Fables-style graphic story for the current era, with sharp humour and a lesson about intolerance.
In this witty graphic novel, a community of forest animals trades scary rumours about a nearby wolf. Some critters have even gone into business selling wolf traps and anti-wolf fences. But when the wolf appears in a pair of striped underpants, everyone rethinks their fears. This is a heartwarming story about understanding difference, told with an oddball sense of humour.
Wilfrid Lupano was born in Nantes, in the west of France, and spent most of his childhood in the southwestern city of Pau, France. He spent his childhood reading through his parents’ comic book collection and enjoying role-playing games. He studied literature and philosophy, receiving a degree in English, before he began to script comics. He has written numerous graphic novels for French readers, including the series Les Vieux Fourneaux (in English, The Old Geezers). With this series, Lupano and Paul Cauuet first developed the idea that would become The Wolf in Underpants.
Mayana Itoïz was born in the city of Bayonne, in the southwest of France, and studied at the institut supérieur des arts de Toulouse (School of Fine Arts in Toulouse), where she worked in many different mediums. In addition to being an illustrator and a cartoonist, she has taught art to high school students.
Paul Cauuet was born in Toulouse and grew up in a family that encouraged his passion for drawing. He was also a fond reader of classic Franco-Belgian comics such as Tintin and Asterix. He studied at the University of Toulouse and went on to a career as a cartoonist. Cauuet and Wilfrid Lupano first collaborated on an outer-space comedy series before working together on Les Vieux Fourneaux (The Old Geezers).
This is a hilarious satirical, picture book about a forest of woodland creatures, convinced that the wolf at the top of the mountain is a monster out to EAT them! In fact, they have built their entire community around being afraid. The animals sell over the top news stories about the wolf’s latest victims, they sell wolf traps, anti-wolf fencing material, and authors even write wolf crime novels. “Scared of wolves? Have some hazelnuts!” says the squirrel. But what if the wolf is not so bad? This is an appropriate story for young and older readers as The Wolf in Underpants is also super silly for younger children. I would love to own this book and read to my preschool kids for years to come!
Cole Campfire Blog
Is a frosty fanny the cause of the forest creatures’ fear? The woodland denizens fear the wolf and its ‘crazy eyes’ and ‘fangs like ice picks.’ Their marketplace bristles with stalls hawking anti-wolf alarms, wolf-defense karate, and wolf traps, and lectures about the wolf are always well-attended. However, when the critters, led by the heavily armed ‘anti-wolf brigade,’ actually meet the wolf, they are surprised by his mild manner and prominent red-and-white-striped undies. Soon they learn that a chilly keister had made the wolf uncomfortable, causing its eerie howls and terrifying demeanor. The animals now face an existential crisis; who will buy wolf traps and attend lectures now? The wolf sensibly tells them, ‘maybe you need more in your lives than just fear.’ With numerous mentions of butts and underpants, expect the requisite giggles. Those assuming this is another tale of self-acceptance will be pleasantly surprised by the turn to the dangers of fear and prejudice. (Those hoping for some address of the language demeaning mental illness will be disappointed.) Older readers with a keen eye should be able to spot a darkly comic twist at its conclusion. Large, earth-toned illustrations range in size from lush two-page spreads to smaller, compact borderless panels, creating an engaging hybrid between a picture book and graphic novel that would work well read independently or aloud. Young readers will howl for this tale that combines a timely, smart message alongside crowd-pleasing silliness.
Drawings by Itoiz and Cauuet’s are gems of comic timing and choreography, and the sly translation by Lupano (Curtain Call for adults) makes this satirical—and unavoidably relevant—tale worthy of joining the canon of classic Big Bad Wolf spoofs.