Woolvs in the Sitee
- The Children's Book of the Year Awards 2007, Picture Book of the Year Honour Book - The Children's Book Council of Australia
"Semi-phonetic spelling and slashing, ominous art add powerful notes of anxiety and otherness to this eerie psychodrama. ...Using colors that suggest shadows and burning, Spudvilas creates a scary, depopulated urban setting heavy with unspecific threat. But Ben does defy his fears at the end, and similarly beleaguered children may be inspired to follow his example. Provocative reading."
"Shortlisted for three top children’s book prizes in Australia, this picture book for older readers is the collaboration of an honored author and illustrator team. ...This stunning title will best succeed with a visually literate audience who, growing up in a world of potential chaos, can read metaphor and appreciate ambiguity."
—School Library Journal
"From the Gaiman/McKean school of storytelling comes this dystopian picture book, set in a shadowy, depopulated city at an indeterminate time. ...Wild and Spudevilas, Australian co-creators of Jenny Angel, conjure an atmosphere suggesting widespread surveillance. Writing in the phonetic style of Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker, Wild keeps readers guessing about Ben's (and his society's) immediate history. Spudevilas's rough charcoal sketches of deserted streets and vacant interiors slash the full-bleed spreads, and watercolor washes of sour yellow, blood red and toxic green imply apocalypse. Nevertheless, no “woolvs" appear, and when Ben ventures outside in the closing pages (“Joyn me," he says), the situation remains undeveloped. Wild's fragmentary graphic narrative establishes an ominous mood akin to Gary Crew and Shaun Tan's The Viewer, but reads more as a prequel to a thriller than as a tale in its own right."
"In Wild and Spudvilas’s luscious, chilling picture book, young Ben lives in hiding from wolves—not “those luvlee wyld chreechis, running in the woods," but shadowy figures of menace that roam the deserted streets of Ben’s “sitee." Subtle illustrative detailing, unexpected visual angles, and the deceptively simple poetic trajectory of the text all serve to enhance the fear, ruin, longing, and hope of this eerie dystopian allegory."
"This disquieting picture book, an award winner in Wild’s Australia, packs a wallop. Deliberately crude spellings buttress implications of a world gone awry, as if civilization has degraded beyond the niceties of spelling and grammar. ...[I]ts brooding, engimatic atmosphere and call to action will lure readers back for multiple readings. Shelve it in collections aimed at teens, who can make connections to the proverbial boy who cried wolf and historical times of crisis."