Woolvs in the Sitee
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Woolvs in the Sitee

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  71 reviews
In a mostly abandoned city, Ben lives in a musty basement room, terrified of the "woolvs" that dwell in the shadows outside, with only an upstairs neighbor, Mrs. Radinski, to help him cope with his fears.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 10th 2007 by Front Street (first published 2006)
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karen
when i was volunteering at the library, i was about to shelve this book, but something about the cover intrigued me, and made me flip through it idly. and that's when i came across a familiar face!! the rest of the book looked pretty cool, so i ordered it into my store and bought myself a copy, and now i can hang out with miriam anytime i want!! i may have missed out on the goodreads.com san francisco gathering, but nothing can stop me from having my own, sad imaginary party here at home:

[image...more
Miriam
Ben, the protagonist of this post-apocalyptic picture book, hides from the shadowy wolves in a basement room, burning furniture for warmth and begging the old lady upstairs for water.

There is some suggestion, based on Missus Radinski's claims that there are no wolves and Ben should go back to school or get a hobby, that perhaps the little boy is suffering from some mental illness rather than the collapse of civilization. On the other hand, she doesn't seem to see a problem in him living alone i...more
Lisa Vegan
Jun 22, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A. & Miriam & Krista...
This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. It’s children’s (children’s?!) picture book. It seems to be a horror book. I think it’s about external horrors, but I kept thinking of agoraphobia and other mental illnesses, and of growing up in a less than ideal situation, and not knowing what was going on is part of its technique, I think.

Anyway, it was chilling. It would have terrified me had I read this while a child or teen, especially the years when I was living alone, especially the relat...more
C-rich
The talented team of Margaret Wild and Anne Spudvilas has produced a remarkable picture book that beautifully balances those ubiquitous reviewers’ words, “compelling” and “challenging.” Woolvs in the Sitee, 2007 winner of the Aurealis Award and a CBC Honour Book, is so original and unusual that the publishers have posted a special teaching guide on the book’s website page. But don’t be deterred by classification-slipping noises; Woolvs offers rich rewards for the visually and metaphorically lite...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A very strange book! It seems to take place in an apocalyptic world, possibly an environmental catastrophe (his longing for blue sky), in a sparsely populated city. Given his poor spelling, one can judge that civilization broke down a number of years ago, before he had had enough schooling to learn how to spell properly. The nature of the "woolvs" is never made clear, though the boy's fear of them is palpable. The illustrations, largely in black, gray, and red, added to the sense of doom and fea...more
Kewpie
I am going to have to re-read this. Until I read other reviews, I thought the book was "Wolves in the Settee" So I thought the boy writing it was schizophrenic and thought wolves were living in his furniture. It's a totally different story when you think the whole thing is taking place in the dark and twisted imagination of a mentally disturbed person.

I'm so embarassed. I had no idea that Sitee was "City" and now it makes MUCH more sense.
Andrea
Written by one of Australia's leading picture book writers, Margaret Wild, Woolvs in the Sitee is a dystopian picture book about a boy named Ben who shares his story of living in a dark, frightening world where his only help comes from a neighbor, Mrs. Radinski. The book is written from Ben's point of view, with words written out phonetically, and he shares his immense fear of wolves and his dream of seeing a real blue summer sky. The text is formatted in a frantic manner, and the pictures are a...more
Dale
Oh my. Dark. Twisted. LOVE IT. Actually, I hated it. But I hated it so much that I love it. What an interesting, thought provoking book. So much potential for discussion. And the spelling!
Laura
The illustrations are raw and interesting; the cover is striking. The spelling is a challenge: on one hand, I appreciated the way it portrayed the world the boy lived in; yet, on the other hand, I can't stand intentional misspelling like that. Overall, a cool read. But I don't think it'll appeal to its target audience. It's in picture book format, but the subject matter makes it apppropriate for 6th grade and up. But I don't know how many teens will be drawn to the book, given the format that is...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Didn't realize it's a picture-book. I thought maybe a children's dystopian novel would be interesting, but I don't understand the point or intended audience of this one at all. To me it was just ugly. Sorry.
Derek
Woolvs in the Sitee was a very unusual book. I thought that after the first few pages the book might explain itself but it never did so I was confused through out it. Ben is the main character in the book and he is terrified of the "woolvs" but the author never tells you what the "woolvs" are. The author not telling the reader what the "woolvs" are kind of intrigued me because you can use your imagination and make out the "woolvs" to be anything that you want them to be.
I really disliked that e...more
Kate Winkler
Woolvs in the Sitee by Margaret Wild and Anne Spudvilas was an unusual book that challenged my thoughts. The book is about a boy named Ben who has a fear of the “woolvs”. It is not clear what the “woolvs” are representing, but it is apparent that Ben has a big fear. Ben ventures outside of his building one day to find the blue sky but gets haunted by the “woolvs”. His neighbor Missus Radinski rescues him and brings him back inside. Missus Radinski does not believe in the “woolvs” and soon it is...more
Leslie
As I was browsing the Teen Graphic Novel section (the only place graphic novels aren’t dispersed into the stacks) Margaret Wild & Anne Spudvilas’ picture book caught my eye. Woolvs in the Sittee‘s cover is intriguingly creepy; and my mind went immediately to Dave McKean. The jacket copy drew me in deeper, though afterward I found it forgivably misleading for the most part.

What is actually going on in Woolvs in the Sitee is not transparent. In a way, the paranoia of the protagonist Ben could...more
J
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kali
Dystopias come in all forms, even picture books. But Woolvs in the Sitee is not for little children. Told by a lonely, scared boy, this dark story features text scrawled in graffiti-like writing across the page, with words misspelled and misshapen to heighten the sense of atmospheric ruin conveyed by the bleakly elegant illustrations. Ben, a young boy who has lost his family and spends his days hiding in a dank basement, tells readers that there are “woolvs in the sitee,” but these are not fores...more
James Grouse
This is an intense picture book with themes and issues relating to all ages. We are studying this picture book and its literary devices in the upper primary stage.

This is a story written by Australian author Margaret Wild and illustrated by Anne Spudvilas - it is set in World War 2 when ghettos were established and there was a constant threat that the Germans (the wolves) were watching and waiting to take the Jews away. There are clues given throughout the book that point to this setting - the...more
Kate
Well, this book is quite a different one, let’s start with that. It’s a picture book, but not like your average No, David or Bark, George. No no no. This is one for a mature audience, around 12 or older, and it is dark. Very dark.

The book centers on Ben, a young boy all alone in a bleak and terrifying world. He spends his days and nights hiding in a basement only looking out at what’s left of his former city. His only companion is his neighbor, Mrs. Radinski, who takes as good of care of him as...more
Mark
I picked this book up at a children's book review that my school holds twice a year. I started reading and was wondering why I lost my inability to understand the words. Had I developed dyslexia in the past five minutes? Nope. As you may have noticed the book is titles "Woolvs in the Sitee" which with correct spelling is Wolves in the City. Once i realized that I did know how to read and that the words were written as if by the main character; I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations are ve...more
K8
Wow - It's frightening, disturbing, dark, and amazing! A dystopian look at a post-apocalyptic world, this amazing picture book from this Australian author and illustrator evokes the desperation and fear of Ben, the narrator of the text.

From the first page of text:

There are woolvs in the sitee. Oh, yes!
In the streets. In the parks. In the allees.
In shops. in rustee playgrounds.
in howses rite next dor.

And they will kum.
they will kum for me and for yoo
and for yor bruthers and sisters,
yor mu...more
Barbara
This came in as a children's book - older kids picture book - almost abstract expressionist in style. It has its place in the library and on bookshelves but I'm not sure where. Set in a possibly post-apocalypic world, this is a child's view of living in fear with almost no human contact. There are many questions left unanswered, which is OK, but as to who should read it? I don't know. Maybe give this to lovers of Neil Gaiman and dark graphic novels although it's definitely short. Sci-fi? Worth r...more
Scott
A totally bizarre dystopian short story with vivid illustrations. The narrator writes phonetically - for example "Erly won morning, wen I'm squinching owt the window,I sees a bloo sky!". I enjoyed its subtext of apocalypse and conspiracy (the narrator, Ben, insists that there are "woolvs" taking over the "sitee" and that they will come for everyone and spare no one - but nobody else will listen to him or believe him).

Someone could probably write a dissertation about this kind of picture book (w...more
Abby
This is a singular book. In the library, it is located with the children's illustrated books, but I am not sure that it belongs there. I think that this would be a very difficult book for the children usually targeted by picture books. For one thing, many of the words are spelled phonetically, which would be confusing for someone still learning to read. Also, the story has a post-apocalyptic setting, and the artwork is moody and eerie. It's sort of scary, and it never answers any of the question...more
Michelle
Not a children's picture book. It would make a great paired text with a distopian novel--another way to explore similar themes of abandonment of family or what "woolvs" students encounter in their lives now that rob them of family or food or growth opportunities. The illustrations are perfect for the story. Written phonetically, with few "correct" spellings, Wild adds to the disjointed feeling of the story. Ending with a question was another stroke of brilliance. This is not a book I would read...more
Sharni Benson
This was painful. It has many layers but you have to read it more than once to get it and I an't handle that. It's told by a boy who obviously is young or hasn't been to school in quite a while. It gives quite a bit of backstory and possibly shows a woolf in one of the pictures. It doesn't explain what they are or why they are there. Just that they are hateful and made everything dark and scary.
There is no resolution. It ends with his going to look for the missing person but it involves the read...more
Marcia First
Genre: Science Fiction?: Post Apocalyptic

It is hard to describe this book, because it could be about so many things: the Holocaust, war, anarchy, mental illness. It is a dark story about a boy who is hiding alone in a building from something sinister that he calls "woolvs." He befriends an old woman in his building who does not believe in the woolvs, but helps the boy get food and water. One day she disappears. Assisted by the dark pictures with splashes of red and showing a city landscape that...more
Becky
Jul 24, 2008 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 6th grade and up
Recommended to Becky by: Horn Book article "Worth A Thousand Words"
This is a strange and powerful picture book for older readers, written phonetically so that it almost has its own language. The pictures are dramatic, disturbing, and emotionally wrought. Few clues are given as to why the narrator lives in such fear -- his world seems very dystopic, but is it all in his head? Are there really "woolvs"? Why is he living alone with no food? Would be interesting paired with Shaun Tan's "The Red Tree" or "The Rabbits" as a discussion with teens about depression, war...more
David
I thought this was a great picture book to teach students how to analyze: the tone,theme, color variations, pictures, and even the word choice, including the way each word is spelled, really allows the students a great chance to practice their analytical skillz (see what I did there?). Another interesting idea would be to have it be an argument writing prompt where the students argue what the "woolvs" actually are. Overall, great picture book to facilitate the learning process.
Kara
Dec 14, 2013 Kara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 544
Genre: Postmodern/Picture Book
Copyright Date: September 2007
Thoughts/Opinions: A student suggested this book to me. I read it and was glad an 8th grader recognized the wording being grammatically incorrect. I enjoyed this read, although it seems a little disturbing for a younger audience. It has very dark elements to it. I think it would be best suited for 12 and up. I also think younger readers would have a hard time following the wording. I really did enjoy it though!
Phoebe
Gorgeous illustrations do not a good book make. Too bad, I loved the title and poetic misspellings in the narrative of "Woolvs in the Sitee." Unfortunately, the story goes nowhere and there is no character development. This book is hovering between horror, apocalypse, suspense, picture book, and graphic novel. I'm not sure which it is or which it wants to be. Still, I have to hand it to Front Street books, they always have something interesting going on.
Amanda
I didn't realize that this was a picture book -- and it is the creepiest picture book, ever. This kid is left alone in an apocalyptic world, is sure that wolves now inhabit New York, but the only other person alive in his building, an old woman, doesn't believe him -- until she is taken by them.

CREEPY! Who would read this to kids?

It should have been longer and marketed as a hi-lo. I hope more is coming.
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Margaret Wild has written more than seventy books and has been published around the world. Her numerous awards and distinctions include the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award for Jenny Angel, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas; The Very Best of Friends, illustrated by Julie Vivas; and Fox, illustrated by Ron Brooks. In 2008 she received the Nan Chauncy Award for an outs...more
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“There are woolvs in the sitee. Oh, yes!
In the streets. In the parks. In the allees.
In shops. in rustee playgrounds.
in howses rite next dor.

And they will kum.
they will kum for me and for yoo
and for yor bruthers and sisters,
yor muthers and fathers. yor arnts and unkils.
yor grandfathers and grandmuthers.

No won is spared.”
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