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Children's Fiction General

The Wolf of Gubbio

by (author) Michael Bedard

illustrated by Murray Kimber

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Oct 2000
General, Anthologies
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2000
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4


At night we lay in bed and listened to the howl of the wolf on the hill. In sleep, we saw his shadow slink along the moonlit wall as the great beast circled the town. No one in Gubbio is safe from the monstrous wolf that stalks them. The townsfolk, armed with pitchforks, travel in groups and never venture out at night. One day a band of strangers comes to town led by the Poverello, the poor one. People say he understands the language of bird and beast. Even so, when he offers to go into the forest and face the wolf, everyone is certain he will never return. What happens between the wolf and the Poverello as they stand face to face, is a matter of trust and understanding. But for the people of Gubbio, and one boy in particular, it is nothing short of a miracle. Based on one of the legends of St. Francis of Assisi, the story may contain some truth. During repairs to a chapel in Gubbio dedicated to the saint, a large wolf 's skull was found underneath the flagstones. The Afterword recounts this amazing fact and provides historical details on the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

About the authors

Michael Bedard is a multi-award-winning author of middle-grade and young-adult novels that blend his love of literature with a flair for the ominous. His novels include A Darker Magic, The Green Man, and Redwork, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the CLA Book of the Year Award for Children. Michael was born and raised in Toronto, where he still lives.


Michael Bedard's profile page

Murray Kimber is a Canadian, currently residing in Mexico, where he is a full time artist. He trained at the Alberta College of Art and Design and worked for a time as a graphic designer in an advertising agency. Murray won the Governor General’s Award for Illustration and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award for his work in Josepha: A Prairie Boy’s Story, by Jim McGugan. His second picture book, Fern Hill, by Dylan Thomas, won the R. Ross Annett Award. Although Murray is influenced by the works of many famous painters, he says his earliest inspiration came from the comic books, magazines, and political cartoon he read as a child.

Murray Kimber's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Stunning artwork accompanies this legend of a wolf who menaces the town of Gubbio until the Poverello, St. Francis of Assisi, brings townspeople and wolf into harmony. Gentle and moving
- The Ottawa Citizen.

What makes this story so powerful is the beautiful simplicity of the language and the magnificent illustrations.
- Resource Links

The quiet of Bedard's narrative is deeply powerful, and children will be intrigued by the afterword, which adds a bit of history to the legend about the saint who talked to animals.
- Booklist

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