Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Breaking a phobia

So, I mentioned before that we've read a lot of books with porcine protagonists. Well, I'm starting a band with that name. No, wait, that's not right. I meant to say that there are lots of wolves in those stories as the bad guys.

And so, Austin developed a fear of wolves. Lupophobia? He's said that he's had nightmares about wolves, and before bed he asks me if there are wolves in the house.

I've tried to explain that wolves don't live around here, that wolves don't eat people, and all that, but he's still scared.

So I borrowed Never Cry Wolf from the library. It's a beautiful film by Carol Ballard based on the memoir by Farley Mowat. Mowat spent six months in arctic Canada studying wolves to see if they were truly behind the loss of the caribou herds. In fact, they weren't, and Mowat's book helped change the perception of wolves from scary to admirable.

Ballard's film is an amazing blend of drama and natural footage.

Anyway, after watching half the movie, Austin has been talking about how he wants to go north and spend time with the wolves.


pc said...

Very interesting consequence to the way characters are traditionally presented in children's books (that is stereotypical).
Austin should know that you don't have to go all the way to the arctic to see wolves. There are lots in Yellowstone.

Baldwin said...

Has Austin asked to have mouse stew for dinner?

Baldwin said...

We started reading to Noah at bedtime--well, more just turning the pages before he can grab and rip them--and I rediscovered two great pig books that were Foster and Harrison's favorites. "Pigs in Hiding" and "Pig William", both written and illustrated by Arlene Dubanevich, and both sadly out of print. I had found them at the Minneapolis Library book sale.

They're both pretty simple stories, illustrated with spare, 80's style line drawings. But they both have a wonderful goofy sensibility, a little like James Marshall's "George and Martha" stories. Pigs in Hiding is a funny story about a game of hide and seek, and Pig William is a perfect depiction of the ADHD experience in picture book form.

I should look into what else this Arlene Dubanevich has done...