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The Gunniwolf

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Wilhelmina Harper's The Gunniwolf is a classic-beloved by readers, storytellers, and teachers. Unavailable for years, it is back with fabulous new illustrations by Barbara Upton, perfect for our time. Its vibrant, rhythmic read-aloud text-sprinkled with dialect-tells the story of Little Girl, who is forbidden to enter the jungle for fear of meeting the Gunniwolf. But when ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 23rd 2003 by Dutton Juvenile (first published 1937)
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First off, the 5 stars are not for THIS edition. Not these illustrations. In this new edition, the Gunniwolf looks like a great big, bouncy, smiley dog. Very cute. I'd love to own him. But he's not the least bit frightening.

The edition I give stars is the one I grew up on: the 1967 edition illustrated by William Harper Wiesner. THIS Gunniwolf looked like an orange hyena. Creepy. When HE snuck up on Little Girl, she had reason to be freaked.

Loved this book. Loved. It. My momma would sing like Li
Apr 19, 2012 Charity rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Oh, my goodness! This book is absolutely delightful! My kids loved the sound effects when Little Girl and the Gunniwolf ran. They were laughing out loud as I read.

The illustrations are sweet. Little Girl's personality really comes through, like when she's standing talking with her mother, and she's got her back arched back a tad, her chin tucked a little, and her eyebrows raised so she's looking up at her mom through her eyelashes. I also loved the affection that came through when the little bun
Nov 18, 2013 Vivian rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Reminiscent of the more familiar tale of Little Red Riding Hood, the "Little Girl" in this story ventures into the woods to collect flowers of every color. (The text says "jungle" but the illustrations say "woods" -- take your pick). Though she was warned by her mother NEVER to go into the woods the child can't resist collecting a huge bouquet as a gift for her. Forgetting about the warning, she sings while gathering "kum-kwa, khi-wa, kum-kwa, khi-wa".

Be sure to pause the story to coach listene
Judith Music
Nov 12, 2014 Judith Music rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For crying out loud--why isn't this book in print? I was a children's librarian when this first came out. It was an instant hit with the story hour crowd, all the kids vying to check it out at the end of the program. Luckily I bought a copy for myself. My children loved it and so do my grandchildren. I wish I could buy them their own copies. This is a less frightening version of "Little Red Riding Hood," in which the girl uses her singing skills, cunning, and sturdy legs to get away from the gun ...more
Mar 31, 2008 Terri rated it liked it
A new edition of this classic folktale is welcome, but Upton's color illustrations of a rural American setting strike a discordant tone with the dialects and jungle setting of Harper's 1918-copyrighted text. This gunniwolf appears to be little more than a large, rambunctious dog, at odds with the slightly sinister character in the narrative. Those who recall the 1967 edition may miss William Wiesner's exotic illustrations, but the rhythmic, onomatopoeic text begs to be read aloud and will make t ...more
Aleya Peters
Dec 03, 2013 Aleya Peters rated it it was amazing
This was my all time favorite book growing up. The book is a moral book that teaches children to little to their parents warnings. The book has rhythm when it uses the repetitive "pit pat pit pat pit pat pity pat". The illustrations are detailed and give an accurate representation of folk tale literature. I love the way the book end with the girl only having one flower left. I like that this is a subtle punishment and reminder of her mistake.
Feb 24, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
Recommends it for: K and up
Presents Wilhemina Harper's 1918 version with new illustrations. I liked the illustrations, bright and soft, but they definitely aren't scary, as reviewers seem to remember from the old version. This story begs to be read or told aloud -- sort of a milder Little Red Riding Hood. Includes an "About the Story" note at the beginning.
Jul 26, 2015 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, storybook
I could never give high stars to a story which has the purpose to teach children to fear nature.

The Gunniwolf never tried to hurt the girl but still she, and the reader, are taught to be afraid of the natural area surrounding her house.

Why was this book ever revived?
Oct 02, 2008 Joy rated it liked it
Recommended to Joy by: Elizabeth
Great choice for storytime, with its simple repetitive structure (easy to memorize) and sound effects (hunker-cha! hunker-cha!). This edition has not-so-great illustrations, which means you might be better telling the story with props or just on your own.
May 05, 2012 Teri rated it really liked it
A children's classic I haven't encountered until now. Reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood, without the gory wolf eating grandma and little girl part. 3.5 stars--good but didn't leave a lasting impression.
Shanshad Whelan
Please, if you're going to get a version of this masterful folktale, find the 1967 version! The new illustrations are just awful. The old illustrations coupled with the text are perfect and I just can't read this to my kids and classes enough.
Nov 06, 2012 Nichole rated it liked it
There is something creepy and vaguely Orientalist about this story but it stays with you. Perhaps it's the spooky little song that the girl sings as she collects flowers or the strange, grammatically incorrect phrases of the Gunniwolf but we all enjoyed this unknown classic.
Ruth Ann
This cautionary folk tale is milder than Little Red Riding Hood. Both the child and the wolf live! The little girl gets away by lulling the wolf to sleep with a song. Makes a great read-aloud with all the sounds and suspense!
Jul 06, 2014 Kami rated it it was ok
The pictures were cute, and the story was fine. But it kind of bothered me how none of the story was in a vernacular speech except two repeated lines. It just made it seem out of place and odd.
Jun 07, 2010 Maya rated it it was amazing
it was an older edition, with more muted illustration and we both ;oved them. Maya even asked me to read the story 2nd time right away.
Mar 27, 2013 Gps rated it liked it
A sort of reverse Red Riding Hood story...cleverly told, and it's fun to sing the verse the little girl sings. Wolves sure have a tough time in children's literature.
Shanshad Whelan
Mar 30, 2009 Shanshad Whelan rated it it was ok
The text is the same as the classic, but the pictures are all wrong. I just didn't like the softer style--did not well complement the text the way the original pictures did.
Feb 10, 2011 Tammra rated it it was amazing
I added this book twice because there are a couple of different versions. My kids and I love them both!
May 23, 2011 Raquel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-aloud
I liked this book because the story is really interesting, and the girl was smart. The girl learned her lesson.
Babette Reeves
Oct 01, 2008 Babette Reeves rated it really liked it
A fun and not too scary retelling of an old "don't go into the forest" tale. The kids love to sing along with Little Girl and look for where the Gunniwolf is hiding.

Recommended ages: 3 to 8
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Aug 24, 2012
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Nov 08, 2013
Lynn Ferrell
Lynn Ferrell rated it really liked it
May 13, 2016
Kaley rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2015
Tara rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2013
Emma rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2012
Ash rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2014
Babette rated it really liked it
Oct 30, 2008
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