‘The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse’ by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen


In “The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse,” Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen create another fantastic fable that will be devoured by children around the world, just as the titular wolf devours the duck and the mouse.

The three characters, two of whom were swallowed by the wolf, must join forces to save all their lives. And ironically, the smaller and seemingly more helpless of the trio are the ones who save the day.

The story begins when mouse is gobbled up by a wolf he meets. Barnett chooses to use formal language, which is repeated throughout the story, to express his feelings.

“Oh woe!” said the mouse. “Oh me! Here I am, caught in the belly of the beast. I fear this is the end.”

But he meets duck, who was previously swallowed by the wolf, and who is living a lovely life inside the stomach of the wolf. There is a bed, a kitchen with stove and utensils, food, and even music. What more could a duck and mouse wish for?

But when the wolf’s stomach hurts from their hijinks, a hunter hears. Though the wolf tries to run, he stumbles and is in danger. That’s when duck and mouse decide to save the day.

The story is so fantastical and so cleverly written that children will love it. They will want to hear it over and over again. They might even start saying, “Oh woe!” when things go wrong. As much as they all adore “Sam and Dave Dig a Hole,” they will love this picture book, also.

It’s perfect for preschool and primary classrooms, libraries and home bookshelves. Don’t miss it!

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Candlewick Press for review purposes.

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