PreSchool-Grade 3–This musical fantasy about a disobedient boy who leaves the safety of the garden for the unknown world of the meadow, cleverly conquering the danger he encounters, has been a childhood favorite since 1936. An opening page introduces the characters, naming and depicting the instrument associated with each one. Prokofiev purists, however, will have issues with this retelling. The text is much longer, much of it hammering home the obvious (that the wolf is dangerous) or providing unnecessary background (the content of grandfather's dream). This extraneous verbiage leaves less room for the music to spin the story. It is the ending, though, that will prove most troubling to longtime fans. This wolf is a pathetic captive, begging to go home, feeling guilty about his deed; the hunters are nervous Nellies; grandfather has changed his tune from paternal skepticism to pride; and… yes, the duck is coughed out as the wolf is returned to the forest. The impact of the drama is considerably lessened. Malone's illustrations are well matched to the story, evoking a somewhat surreal and sometimes humorous world with a Russian flavor. A serviceable CD, recorded by the Cincinnati Pops and narrated by Peter Thomas, is included. Erna Voigt's faithful rendition (Godine, 1979; o.p.) set a standard for this story that is hard to beat.–Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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PreS-Gr. 4. A CD featuring the Cincinnati Pops' rendition of Prokofiev's music and narration by Peter Thomas accompanies this new version of Peter's story, which Malone handsomely illustrates in soft-edged paintings. Feathery brush strokes and golden hues lend a comforting, nostalgic feel to the story, while bold close-up views of the agile, sharp-toothed wolf will thrill children. Libraries may already have other versions on the shelf (books by Loriot  and Vladimir Vagin  are particularly noteworthy), but Schulman's retelling and the accompanying recording make an appealing package. The expertly produced images and music will easily draw children into this classic, and its sly introduction to the sounds of the symphony.^B Gillian Engberg
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