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The Gunniwolf
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The Gunniwolf

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  31 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 January 19th 1970)
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Charity (CJ)
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
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
Judith Music
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
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
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.
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
Apr 03, 2014 Carrie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
Classic from my childhood
That's it? That's the story? That was my first reaction when I got to the end. It was fun reading it up to that last page though! The sound effects were perfect! I could practically hear the foot steps in the forest (jungle, whatever).

I realize that this comes from an original folk tale...but the language used by the wolf threw me at first. I had to read it a couple times to get the gist of what I was reading...but, later on, it seemed like the wolf's voice and I liked that it was...odd.

I loved
Aleya Peters
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 3 of 5 stars
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.
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.
Oct 02, 2008 Joy rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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!
The version I read was the one specifically recommended to me -- Wilhelmina Harper's original, in black, white and green (mostly). Great read aloud, great told aloud, and full of suspense. I love me a good cautionary tale.
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.
Babette Reeves
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
Shanshad Whelan
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.
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.
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.
I liked this book because the story is really interesting, and the girl was smart. The girl learned her lesson.
I added this book twice because there are a couple of different versions. My kids and I love them both!
This was my favorite book when I was little. It was exciting bag terrifying and triumphant!!!
Janine Weston
The Gunniwolf by Wilhelmina Harper (K/1) Booklegger Fall Program. Excellent for Storytelling.
Useful for comparing to Red Riding Hood versions of the fairytale. A cautionary tale.
LOVED this book as a little one to memorize and do for storytelling.
easily becomes an interactive tale with the children joining in on the chase
Jun 13, 2007 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: moms with kids
Another storyteller style book, which my kids LOVE!
The preschooler at our house gives this five stars.
Interesting. Odd mix of languages though.
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