Tag Archives: The Scallywags

Friday Pick{ture Book} #1: The Scallywags

Welcome to the inaugural Friday Pick{ture Book} post. Please read the meme page for instructions on how to join, or just add your post to the linky below.


The Scallywags: David Melling
(Hodder Children’s Books, 2006)

The Scallywags are fourteen wolves who try very hard, but haven’t got very good manners. The other animals stop asking them to join in so the Scallywags have to do something about it.

They spy on all the animals and try to replicate what they observe:

“Before long most of the wolves knew what to do with… a handkerchief, a toothbrush, and a comb. And some of them could dress nicely and say please and thank-you.”

Eventually they show their new-found manners off, but the other animals come to realise that the Scallywags were more fun when they were just being themselves.

This is a tale for older small children, from about age four up. The Scallywags do all the things that we’re not allowed to do, but they do try so very hard to show that they’re not really so bad and they mean well.

This is a beautiful book in all sorts of ways. It’s in a landscape format which makes some gorgeous panoramic spreads with lots happening in them. There are so many little details in the pictures that you can spend hours pouring over them, especially in comparing and contrasting certain spreads. The book is made from lovely matt paper which is a delight to hold too.

Fun to read (again and again), and one I think older siblings will really enjoy reading to their younger siblings. It will be an especially huge hit with boys of course but my girls love it too. There’s a sequel: The Scallywags Blow Their Top and plenty of scope for these characters, someone ought to snap up the media rights for them if they haven’t already.

The book starts with commenting on how we all know what wolves are like, don’t we? Before turning the big bad wolf assumption on its head… It could be read in conjunction with some classics like: The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids, Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf or Peter and the Wolf. It can be used as a jumping point for discussing making assumptions about people because of who they are, talking about what manners are for and why we use them, discussing what we do to fit in with others (and whether we should) and much more besides.

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