March 22nd, 2021

A-Z of Artists

Gijs van der Hammen and Little Wise Wolf

We have reached the letter G in our A-Z of artists and Gijs van der Hammen and Hanneke Siemensma spring immediately to mind with their beautiful picture book Little Wise Wolf longlisted for the Kate Greenaway award in 2020. Gijs writes the words and Hanneke makes the pictures - a dream team! They performed as part of The Children’s Bookshow at Warwick Arts Centre in 2019 and brought the story to life on stage with readings and live drawing. Gijs got into the character of little wise wolf by donning some bright red wellington boots!

Book of the Week: Little Wise Wolf

by Gijs van der Hammen, illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma

A wonderful story that takes the reader on a journey with a little wolf who slowly realises that there is more to learn about the world than that contained in his books. When the other animals come to him to get answers to their difficult questions, Little Wise Wolf has no time for them. Until one day, a raven appears. The king turns out to be seriously ill, and Little Wise Wolf is called on to use his knowledge to make him better again. On the way to the palace it turns out that, although Little Wise Wolf may know a lot about the things he has read in his books, and seen in the stars, he has a lot to learn about the outside world.

Authors in focus

Gijs van der Hammen

Gijs van der Hammen was born in The Netherlands in 1974. He studied Dutch literature at the University of Amsterdam. Now Gijs writes both stories and poems for children and he also develops websites. Little Wise Wolf, published by Book Island, is his first book published in the UK.

Hanneke Siemensma

Hanneke Siemensma studied Dutch literature in Amsterdam and then Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She is now addicted to the smell and feel of paint, brushes, charcoal and paper, and has a weakness for patterns and old photos.

Watch this reading of Little Wise Wolf


Create a Cardboard Diorama

Little Wise Wolf has to travel a very long way to reach the King’s Castle: up and down long roads, over high mountains, through a deep, dark forest and around the big city.

Create a cardboard diorama to show the different landscapes which Little Wise Wolf experiences throughout his journey.

You will need:

  • Two large cereal boxes
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Paint or felt tips
  • Scissors
  • Sellotape
  • Glue

What to do:

Step 1
First cut one of the cereal boxes in half by cutting along the middle on each side.

Step 2
Then, use the ruler and pen to draw a line down each piece of card, spacing them out as shown.

Step 3
Cut along the lines so that you have four pieces which increase in size.

Step 4
Next, trim the shorter flaps from the edges of each piece of card.

Step 5
Now, draw the outlines of the different landscapes from the story, ensuring that you leave the bottom flap blank – these are labelled on the example as woods, mountains, roads and leaves.

Step 6
Paint each piece and cut around the outline at the top of each one.

Step 7
Finally, cut a piece of card from the other cereal box to make a base for the diorama. Make sure it is cut to the same length as your landscape images. Then, use glue to stick the smallest piece (using the unpainted flaps) to the front of the base and secure it with Sellotape. Repeat until all of the pieces have been glued and taped.

Your diorama is now complete!

Camp Out (or in!)

Thanks to the kindness and consideration of his friends and neighbours, Little Wise Wolf spends a cosy night in a tent in the forest, where he gets a good rest, warms up by a glowing campfire and fills up on some hearty soup.

Have a go at making your own camping den in your house or garden. Think carefully about what you will need to pack for your adventure – perhaps a torch, a blanket, some snacks and a good book to read. If you are safe and comfortable, maybe you can sleep in it all night!

We’d love to see your dioramas, and photos of your camping expeditions! To send us your work to display in our gallery use the link below, or upload to twitter with the hashtag #BookshowA-Z.

Email us your work for our gallery

Enjoying our articles?

Sign up for our newsletter:

Want to help more children attend our events in the future?

Support the Children's Bookshow