Friday, May 16, 2008

The Wolves are Back

George, Jean Craighead. 2008. The wolves are back. Ill. by Wendell Minor. New York: Dutton.

Famed author Jean Craighead George, (My Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves, and more) has written the story of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. The Wolves are Back flows like a storybook,

"The wolf pup with his father ate until his stomach was round and then followed his father back to their den. They walked through gardens of wildflowers. The wolves had scared the mountain sheep that chew the flowers to the ground up into the rocky cliffs."

The story follows the life of a pup and highlights the necessity of wolves to the complex ecosystem of Yellowstone Park. Wild wolves thin the coyote herds, provide meat for the bears, keep elk from destroying the grasslands, etc. Each of these actions benefits the wilderness, 'like pieces of a kaleidoscope...tumbling into place."

"Beavers built ponds. Birds sang. Flowers bloomed. The wilderness is in balance again. The wolves are back."

Paintings by landscape artist, Wendell Minor, showcase the graceful beauty of the the park and its inhabitants. Painted in both the brilliant and the soft colors of nature's flora and fauna, his illustrations impart serenity to the story, depicting the animals naturally, yet gently. Many are double spreads with minimal text.

Jean Craighead George continues her commitment to our wild places with this beautiful picture book.

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