A mother leaves her three children at home to go visit their grandmother telling them not to let anyone in, but a wolf overhears. He comes to the door and pretends to be their grandmother and they let him in and he blows out the candles. The oldest and most clever catches on however and tricks the wolf into letting them go outside to get him magical gingko nuts down from the tree. She warns her siblings about the wolf and they convince the wolf it must pick the nuts itself and so it lets them hoist it in a basket. They drop the wolf from the top of the tree killing it and then barricade themselves inside until their mother returns. The illustrations provide both detail but also a kind of insubstantial sense of things. The wolf takes many forms sometimes almost disappearing on the page other times dominating it. Rich colors add to the elegance of this story that makes it more than just a folktale.
Caldecott Winner 1990