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Woolvs in the Sitee

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  334 ratings  ·  89 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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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  334 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 san francisco gathering, but nothing can stop me from having my own, sad imaginary party here at home:

 photo DSC01896_zps5fae5262.jpg

May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
[Edit: if you can't find the book, there is a video:]

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 collap
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To see this review and others please visit

I may be a little obsessed with Margaret Wild books here lately. I picked up another one the other day due to it's interesting title which is misspelled along with an eerie looking cover. After starting the story I realized that many of the words are misspelled in the book which really adds to the darkness.

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and a boy named Ben is stuck in a house with barely any food or water. H
Mariah Roze
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an extremely unique book! I read it to my class and they enjoyed it. However, it was hard to read because so many of the words are spelled incorrectly (on purpose).
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful book could be seen as a lushly dark post-apocalyptic threnody for adult fans of experimental graphic novels. Or it could be a kid's book. The text itself is rendered expressionistically with bold scrawl alternating with thin scratches while what it says is in semi-modernist verse with phonetic spellings that intensify their subjective urgency:

"No." she sez. "I haven't seen anee shadows."
But I no she has. She has
seen those shadows prowling along
pavments, snarling up walls.

Or it cou
Lisa Vegan
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
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.
Kathy Martin
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Short graphic novel set in a post-apocalyptic world which has been taken over by woolvs. A young man tells about his fears and how he survives. His only friend is his upstairs neighbor who doesn't believe him about the woolvs until she runs afoul of them and disappears. The colors are dark and the spelling is creative in this story.
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
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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
Aug 06, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Amy Layton
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This is one of the most beautiful and eerie and haunting books that I've ever read.  Misspelled as though a child has written this, Woolvs in the Sitee depicts either a traumatic dystopia or perhaps a heterotopic world through a paranoid lens.  Either way, the ambiguity is utterly amazing, and I think that this book is one that absolutely elevates the notion of what children's literature is as an art form.  With dark, jerky illustrations, this becomes a well-rounded book that plays on fears, bel ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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!
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
'Woolvs in the Sitee' is not a children's picture book but rather a graphic short story, more suitable for older teens. The story and the ideas underlying it make it a challenging book.

From the beginning, the reader knows that something is wrong. The rough wolf image and the strong, graffiti-like writing act like a warning. The central character, Ben, has withdrawn from the world; he is alienated and full of fears. He is terrified of the 'woolvs' but determined to find his neighbour. To do so,
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Visually unique and stylistically engaging, Woolvs in the Sitee defies easy categorization as it paints a picture of one boy's experience with fear, abandonment, and resilience in a world he does not recognize.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want to read it
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Woolvs in the Sitee had lovely drawings. It was also an intriguing story with an open ending.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Wow, that was something. Bit creepy, definitely unsettling, unlike any picture book I’ve read before.
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
Dione Basseri
Woah. Intense. First of all, this is not a picture book for little kids. At least, not for them to read on their own. This could cause some serious nightmares, or at least some serious questions about how safe they are in the world.

The story is set in an unknown 20th or 21st century city. A teen boy, Ben, won't leave his home, because he knows the woolvs are waiting for him. The entire story is told with fine grammar, but atrocious spelling, but the spelling makes sense. If you are trapped insid
Kate Winkler
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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
Apr 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
James Grouse
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Scott Moore
Sep 26, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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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
“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.”
More quotes…