Monday, February 2, 2009

Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka

Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka
Review by: Lisa Stanger

Wolf is sick of reading books about mean wolves. He doesn’t want to chase anybody, or eat any cute little animals. He decides to rectify the problem by writing a book about a NICE wolf, like him. So begins the story within a story that is at the heart of this book. Wolf meets a variety of terrified animals during his walk through his fictional world as he attempts to track down the owner of a footprint trail so he can “make a new friend.”

This book would make a good read aloud, although with text snaking around the page and even appearing upside down at some points, you would want to make sure you are familiar with the text before attempting it. It would also make a good “Reader’s Theatre” piece without too much rejigging.

I like this picture book. The text and illustrations fit snugly together, the colours used are deep and inviting, and the character of Wolf is virtuous while still being believable. His interactions with other animals in his imaginary world add humour and personality to the book. The animals question his motives, the squirrel and rabbit call him a liar and the frog is downright rude, but by the end of the book we know how Wolf really views his small animal ‘friends’ and can decide if their initial reactions were correct.

I would recommend this book to teachers, librarians and pre-schoolers, while the metafiction element would make it useful to use in a younger classroom where story writing or narrative were being discussed.

More Info:
  • Reading level: Baby-Preschool
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805087923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805087925


  1. It sounds delightful. I love the idea of using the text for Reader's Theatre. That's a great way to get kids involved in a text.

  2. Ooh, both this and The Hunger Games look great!

  3. I love Readers Theatre too - I think it really helps to firm up the idea of 'story' as malleable form in a child's mind, as opposed to a set textual experience.

  4. The colors are really pretty. This book looks interesting. A little offbeat.

  5. It is a beautiful book. The colours give it a really unique look.