In this big story, disguised as a small one, the author explores the value of relationships and the interconnectedness of us all. It highlights for our children an important life lesson – everyone has unique skills and knowledge, so everyone in a community matters — and we all need the help of others sometimes.


A wise and lovely little book.


Gijs van der Hammen – Author
Hanneke Siemensma – Illustrator


Little Wise Wolf is known for his love of reading big books and for his knowledge. But when the other animals in the forest come to him with their questions—“What do butterflies eat?”; “How many stars are in the sky?”—


Little Wise Wolf doesn’t open his door. He tells himself he has too much to learn, too many big books to read, to take time to help.

Then one day, the king’s crow arrives with a note summoning him to the castle to heal the ailing king.
The King’s letter:

           Dear Wise Wolf,
           I am very ill. Only you can make me better.
          Please help!

          The King


         “No time!” shouted Little Wise Wolf. “There’s a plant I need to research. And a big book to finish             reading. And I think I’ve just found a new star. I’m really rather busy right now.”


And Crow responded,
        “When the king calls, you have to come.”


Reluctantly, Little Wise Wolf begins the long  journey to the castle.

On the way to the palace, it turns out that there are many practical things you cannot learn by reading books or studying the stars.  Fortunately, the animals are there to help Little Wise Wolf.  Unbeknownst to him, his animal neighbors are following, and when Little Wise Wolf gets weary and becomes lost, they rescue him with a tent and food and a fire.


“Finally, Little Wise Wolf arrived at the castle gates. But then he couldn’t go any farther. ‘I don’t think I can do it. Someone else will have to make the king better,’ he said once again.

But the crow pushed him inside. ‘Go on! The king is waiting for you!’”


Humbled by his animal neighbor’s  gestures of compassion and friendship, Little Wise Wolf realizes that maybe he isn’t so wise after all.

“Now, Little Wise Wolf is never too busy when the other animals come to see him.”

“No one knows how, but he reads just as many books as before. And he discovers just as many plants and stars. Maybe even more.”


Little Wise Wolf trailer | Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2020 from Book Island on Vimeo.



I regret that currently there is only one video available for this beautiful little book.  The book was recently translated from Dutch to English, so I imagine there will be more resources in the near future.  In the meantime, the storyteller is excellent.  🙂