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Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf Is Not Around!
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Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf Is Not Around!

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Rising star Claudia Rueda makes a sparkling debut as author and artist in this winsome story based on a traditional French and Spanish play song for the very young.

"Let's play in the forest while the wolf is not around," sing the animals in the forest. "Wolf, are you there?"

"I am putting on my underpants," Wolf answers.

As Duck, Bunny, Moose, Beaver, and others play between
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Scholastic Press (first published 2006)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  288 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Tracy Morton
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I actually giggled reading this. It was so cute. I loved all the animals, I loved the repetition and the ending was so adorable.
Heydi Smith
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: skip-it
This story is ridiculous, it inspires anxiety in kids with no resolution and is needlessly repetitive. Just no.
Jun 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2009, childrens
This is a cute book, but I think it'd be more fun to sing the song and play the game, rather than read the book. It's a bit too repetitive for my taste. Overall, it's a good book, but certainly not our favorite.
Meghan Hunt
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: jp-picture-books
This would be a good book for a toddler or early preschool storytime about getting dressed. The repetition of the text was a little boring for me, but there is a surprise twist at the end that I think kids will like.
Maria Pelayo
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: k-4, picture
This book is based on a chant/game played in different places in the world. I think this is a great book to use for writers workshop because it displays use of speech bubbles. This book also displays some words small and some large to change the voice of the book.
Rebecca Ann
This story is a great choice for preschool ages or less-sensitive toddlers. The wolf kind of freaks me out when he goes all toothy, but I could see this as a really great felt story!
Milton Louie
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
You may make this story interactive by having the children ask what the wolf is doing. B
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Works well for storytime.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Excellent for introducing sequencing and question answering with my kindergarten students.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
A shout and response story that dates back to 16th century France, that has led to the chase and tag games that children play today.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, picture-books
Great repetition, structure and kid humor. Perfect for story times. Highly recommended for ages 2-5 (also works as an early reader).
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This should be a great read-aloud, switching back and forth between the animals playing in the forest and the wolf as he gets ready to go outside. The tension ratchets up with each article of clothing the wolf puts on. I anticipate lots of giggles from my preschool group. (Apparently, this is a song and there is music at the end of the book so you can learn it.)

Had to add that my preschoolers loved this, as predicted. I think the adults probably wanted to scream because of all the repetition, bu
Philip Raber
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This tale originates from northern France prior to the 16th century. It is accompanied by a song meant to be a fun, parenting trick to get little ones dressed for the day. The wolf represents danger, but the bright colors, comical forest animals and happy ending makes for a story that preschoolers would love. The title, let's play in the forest while the wolf is not around is repeated through the book.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
The animals of the forest play while the wolf is busy getting dressed. They fear when he's done that he will want to eat them up, but as it turns out he's got a craving for...pancakes!

Sheet music follows the story along with an author's note about the origins of the story.

Artwork was rendered using graphite pencils on digital prints. The simple colors and shapes make this a great read aloud for wither toddlers or preschoolers.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fun call and response story that builds suspense as the wolf gets dressed. This works well for story time, but because of the sparse illustrations it definitely needs some help. This is a traditional game played by children in South America, and the song with the words and notes is in the back of the book. I sang the beginning of the song, and had the kids asking if the wolf was there. They think it is funny at the end when he eats pancakes.
This is a great book to read aloud in story time. The kids love singing the song with the animals, and watching what the wolf is going to put on next. You can find a template on line to make a flannel board for the story. I made the underwear with polka-dot felt, and the kids crack up every time we get to that part.
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: toddlers - K
Can I just say how awesome our story time librarian is? Her wolf voice kicked butt! She can the words as the little tune shown at the back of the book as well. I enjoyed watching the wolf slowly get dressed. It makes a great build up of suspense that reminds me of the game Mr Bear Are You Awake?, but it is also a great review of clothes for younger kids. Overall, great story time choice!
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is based on an old play song. I’m putting on my ...pants...socks...etc. It is simple, but loads of fun. I think this would make a great storytime book. Not scary, but an element of what will happen. I can see why so many people told me to put this on my TBR pile.

#beatthebacklist #hermione 2017
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preschool, storytime
This is a great one for building anticipation -- I didn't have time to learn the song included, so I just had the kids pat their hands against their laps and chant the refrain. It worked wonderfully. And the mention of the word "underpants" in the beginning of the book basically sets them up to be pleased. It was more or less a laugh riot!
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fun interactive book for story times! Begin by reading this cute, sparse tale by yourself, and then once kids catch on, have them join in calling, "Wolf, are you there?"

Build suspense and encourage participation as the faces o the woodland animals change from playful to apprehensive to outright scared!!

Recommend for Pre-k to 1st grade!
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
One of my favorites for story time, as it is perfect to do as a felt story. Kids will love repeating back "Wolf! Are you there?" and watch the progression of wolf putting on his clothes. Older kids will also understand that this is THE wolf from fairy tales.
Themes - Forest, wolf, getting dressed,eating and has audience participation. This is a good book for a variety of ages and you can draw them in by having the children call out for the wolf like the characters do in the story. Fun surprise ending.
Miss Kelly
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute read along book that would be wonderful for story times. This book was written by Claudia Rueda who loved to sing "Lets Play in the Forest (Jugemos en el Bosque)" which is a traditional French and Spanish play song.
May 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Going to try this in storytime this week. Need to google to find out what the melody of the folk song is! My only complaint is I wish the book was a little bigger but I'm hoping the colorful illustrations will translate well in a room full of kids.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a cute story with a repetitive phrase and general silliness. It may be appreciated a bit more by the pre-school crowd, but the Tiny Totters laughed at some of the pages. I also sang part of this book
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I interviewed Claudia Rueda from Colombia. This is based on a Latin American traditional game played by children. It plays the game and has a fun surprise ending. Easy to translate while reading...
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
The buildup of anticipation is wonderful! I hadn't know this was a traditional song/game when I got it, and the interactions make it a great fit for storytime. The illustrations are ho-hum, but the meat is in the action so that's fine.
I sing "let's play in the forest while the wolf is not around" and all the kids/parents say with me "wolf, are you there?"
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very repetitive book. Centered around a wolf getting ready in the morning while the other animals play in the forest. based on an old french game. Includes song in the end.
Sep 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
a spanish/french play song highlights the bright pictures within this book with lots of repeating and a faux surprise ending where the wolf doesn't eat his friends.
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Claudia Rueda is a Colombian picture book author, New York Times Best Seller illustrator and a 2016 Hans Christian Andersen and Astrid Lindgren award nominee. Her books have been published throughout North America, Europe and Asia and have been translated into more than ten different languages.