About Kitty Black
Kitty currently lives in Perth, but has lived in lots of other places like Melbourne, Hong Kong and Mt Isa. From these experiences she learned that she likes café’s, the ocean (looking at it but not necessarily being on it) and internet access.
Kitty studied psychology and wound up doing lots of research type things and talking to people about their feelings type things, but mainly discovered that stories are the most important things in the world.
Then she met her husband, had babies and forgot everything she’d ever learned about anything until she got some sleep.
Once the babies were a bit older Kitty got back to stories, writing freelance articles and blogging. This could be accomplished while wearing trackies in bed so Kitty was very happy. Then her children started saying things like ‘Tell me a story Mummy!’ So she did... and then she remembered how important stories are. So she wrote more. Her first picture book ‘Who’s Afraid of the Quite Nice Wolf’ was released in August 2019, with two more coming in 2020.
These days, Kitty can be found in lots of places, often in café’s with internet access, near the ocean, writing a story. She is very happy, as are her husband, two children (who do sleep now), two cats (actually they’re probably not happy unless they’re getting fed; the proper food, not the dry food... ugh) and a puppy named Polly (who is always, always very happy.)
This picture book is absolutely wonderful in the way that it subverts the traditional “Big Bad Wolf” fairy-tales. The illustrations in rich earthy colours, by Laura Wood are beautiful, with so much detail to observe and discuss on every page. I love the contrast between Wilfred in his buttoned-up shirt and bow tie, and the rest of the wolf pack with their bandanas, eye-patches and ripped jeans! In very few words the author, Kitty Black, has conjured an incredibly enjoyable story imbued with the message that is ok to be different and to be true to who you are.
I don’t know about you, but my kids have had mountains of children’s books in their time and plenty of them were less-than-memorable, designed to encourage word recognition or colours rather than to subtly encourage them to think about the world they’re living in.
What I love about this book is that it tells kids that it’s okay to be a square peg that looks at the round hole and says “no, thanks!”
It’s a fun read, with giggles for grown ups as well as kids, that follows our Wolf as he learns that not only is it okay to let go of what others might expect from us, it’s positively joyful.
Given a new meaning to “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, this is an hilarious romp that will engage young readers from cover to endpaper, as it celebrates the courage of the individual to be true to themselves and who they are rather than give into the pack and peer pressure. Stories that work well as entertainment, as this does, are fabulous but those that make the mind probe a little deeper, see the world through different eyes and perhaps hear a different tune are even better. This is one of those.