The Wolves of Greycoat Hall (Lucinda Gifford, Walker Books)
Author and illustrator Lucinda Gifford brings us a refreshing and humorous tale with The Wolves of Greycoat Hall, the first book in a new junior fiction series. Boris and his parents Leonora and Randall struggle to holiday away from their home in Morovia, for although they are respectable wolves, not all countries know what to make of them. When the family hears that Scotland has decided to reintroduce wolves, they seize the opportunity to reconnect with their Scottish ancestry. Gifford has created three strong and likeable characters: Randall the ‘polymath’ shows off his love of knowledge, while Leonora shows an appreciation for good manners and inquisitive Boris is passionate about family history. Illustrations throughout the story introduce the wolves’ family tree, and scattered extracts from A Guide to Morovia reveal more about their habits, dress customs and behaviour in an engaging way. Tackling themes of greed and ownership, The Wolves of Greycoat Hall celebrates difference and looks at acceptance through a unique storyline. The descriptive writing gives a sense of character and place and although some of the vocabulary is challenging, the support of the illustrations makes it suitable for children developing their reading skills. Full of historic castles and mystery, this book is perfect for a 7+ readership and fans of Chris Riddell’s ‘Ottoline’ series.
M H Alessandrino is a Perth-based freelance writer and reviewer.