I hope Renata Wolfman never changes.
The world, according to Renata: “Friends have germs. Their noses drip. They cough all over you. I’m much healthier without them.” And my personal favourite: “I like my own opinions, thank you very much.”
Real talk. This kid has life nailed.
Other Renata musings include the following. Sea turtles are more interesting than clothes; other kids are annoying; real life is more interesting than pretend; making things alone is better because this way you doesn’t have to respect others’ opinions.
This is Renata’s first appearance in Wolfie & Fly, a new series by Cary Fagan. She does make a friend (Fly), because this is normal and healthy, and making friends is good. Sure. Yes. I agree. They go on a submarine adventure in a refrigerator box, and Renta’s imagination expands. Also good.
However. I hope future books don’t wear Renata (fondly known as Wolfie) down to a nice girl who does everything everybody else wants and stops thinking for herself, even if her choices are controversial and not aligned with gender stereotypes. I hope she gets to stay entirely herself and isn’t ashamed of it. I hope she that she will continue to prefer to read rather than play with snot nosed kids and that her parents embrace her quirks and that she becomes a mad scientist in some obscure field and wins a Nobel Peace Prize. That would make a good children’s story.
Cary Fagan was at Events 5 (A Feast of Fun), 21 (A Series of Adventures), 72 (The Interviews) and 77 (Fact and Fiction) at the 2017 Vancouver Writers Festival.