Don’t Play With Your Food

Oh man…this is yet another one of those books I slap my forehead and think, “why didn’t I think of this??”

A WELL-MANNERED YOUNG WOLF is a slight and should be predictable (it’s not!!) and hilarious story about a young wolf with manners solidly intact. A HUNGRY, well-mannered young wolf with manners solidly intact. It was written by Jean Leroy and Matthieu Maudet.

When this unnamed wolf (I think Mort would be a good name) goes hunting for his very first time, he is ill prepared for his good manners and respect for tradition to give him trouble. His parents taught him that a “last wish” must always be respected. (This tradition seems weighted towards the receiver of the “last wish” rather than the deliverer of said. Especially in the predator and predatee* business.)


Nonetheless, as this well-mannered young wolf heads out to hunt (with a net, of course, because this is, after all, a kid’s book) for his very first time. He captures first a rabbit and then a chicken. He is bound to honor any last requests they have before he eats them. And this is what gets him in trouble. Or not necessarily in trouble but proves a wrench in his sweet, hunting gear work.

I alluded above how this story is not predictable. I was surprised and guffawed out loud when I got to the end. Guffawed, I tell you. This story is brilliantly told and wonderfully illustrated.

Maudet’s engaging characters and environments are simple but rich. Rendered in a flat, saturated pallet of yellow, brown, red and black, it feels like a book with an already long history. Like something I may have marveled as a child and simple enough that I might have tried to draw the characters myself.

I mean look at this wolf:

This rabbit!

This chicken:

What is not to love about all of these?

This is a very entertaining book with a lesson in how having good manners can work against you and how lying can set you free how sharing good art can work in your favor. I think…


Go get this book!

You’re welcome.



*Yeah yeah, I know predatee is not a word, just go with it, okay?

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  1. Adorable! This one looks clever and fun to read! Can’t wait to catch a copy to read (I’ll use my hands, not a net). 🙂

  2. So witty! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one.

  3. Oh those bunny ears! That chicken shirt! Gotta find this one.

  4. Love the premise and illustrations – can’t wait to devour this book! 🙂

  5. I can’t wait to get this book!

  6. You’ve sold me on this book! Can’t wait to read it!

  7. When I say I love this book, I do mean I would marry it! Ha!

  8. Thank you, Kevan, for sharing this winner! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

  9. I loved this book.

  10. How, “Don’t Play With Your Food” is such a witty and insightful remark.

  11. Looks hilarious. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Okay. I must hunt down this book!

  13. Kathleen Mazurowski

    Just added it to my library list.

  14. Kevan, you really did have me laughing out loud! What a darling book. Thanks for featuring it.

  15. I had already found this at my library and enjoyed it immensely. Glad to see you agree with me!

  16. If it makes you guffaw, I have to see it. Going on my list! Thanks, Kevan!

  17. Intriguing. I’ll definitely hunt for this book.

  18. The search is on! Thanks for the heads up.

  19. Going to look for this one! I want to guffaw, too!

  20. The hunt is on. I need this book! Thanks for sharing, Kevan 🙂

  21. Thanks, Kevan. Something about those ink lines and flat colors, when done right like this, are perfect. Reminds me of my favorite comics growing up. The idea behind it sounds great too. Well done to the editor/AD who paired these two together.

    • Agreed, Mike. Great illustration with those lines and flat, saturated colors are much harder to do well than most folks realize.

  22. Loved this book! The librarian laughed when she checked it out to me. I laughed when I read it. My family laughed. Well, after flipping the last pages back and forth a few times. So unexpectedly delightful. Thanks for pointing it out.

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