Posts Tagged ‘wolves’

Fourteen Wolves by Catherine Barr, illus. Jenni Desmond. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2021.

May 6, 2021 Comments off

This is positively the best non fiction picture book I have read for many a year and it is about wolves an animal that features heavily in literature and myth and mythology of human beings. It is also a success story for humankind who are so often, in fact nearly always responsible for habitat destruction and the cause of species disappearing.

In the 1930’s the wolves disappeared from Yellowstone national park due to human beings and the ecosystem of the park started to collapse. Elks started to thrive as they were the food of the wolves. Elks ate all the shrubbery and grassland and started on the trees. Subsequently the whole cycle of life disappeared from the park including birds fish insects, everything.

In 1995 14 wolves were transferred from Canada as a first shipment of wolves back to Yellowstone and the fate of each of these wolves is monitored in this book. The wolves formed into breeding packs and scattered throughout the park along with other wolves who were brought in later.

As a result of this the life cycle habitat and environment of Yellowstone changed back to the way it was before.

The book is divided into three parts – Coming Home in which the wolves are transplanted back and how they adapt to their new environment. A New Yellowstone which tells how the park changed, and Understanding How Nature Works shows the food chain of the park and how all the living things there are connected.

Magnificently illustrated by Jenni Desmond which enhances Catherine Barr’s storytelling. A first class package that is essential for school libraries and for the home. Science and human behaviour at it’s best. A rewilding story.

Wolfboy by Andy Harkness. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2021.

March 22, 2021 Comments off

The moon is full, but it looks like a biscuit to me, when Wolfboy gets hungry and starts looking for rabbits in this fabulous picture book and read-a-loud for juniors.

He can’t find them in the shadowy trees or the murky creek or the creaky old oak or the soggy bog, but they are there and you can find them too. Wolfboy gets huffy and drooly and growly as you do when you are hungry, so where are they?

The rabbits have a plan of their own and they confront Wolfboy with it and he likes their idea. See if you do. I wonder what it is?

Very lively illustrations. Wolfboy is blue with big wolf eyes, the scenic images are dark colours and the rabbits are yellow. There is a rabbit on every double page spread and they are doing things that rabbits are not noted for.

There is a smile on every page of this very appealing picture book.

Sharing with Wolf by Melinda Szymanik & Nikki Slade Robinson.

May 23, 2020 Comments off

wolfSharing with Wolf by Melinda Szymanik & Nikki Slade Robinson. Pub. Scholastic, 2020.

A beautifully illustrated and  written hardback picture book for juniors and pre schoolers with a surprise ending. It will make you smile.

Wolf always needs a new housemate, he can’t afford to live alone. Lamb needs a place to stay so she can make her way in the world away from the flock. Wolf is cynical. he likes lamb but only “roasted, grilled or casseroled”. that is his nature.

Wolf warns lamb that it is not on but lamb persists. I wonder what is going to happen? You can have a wolf in sheep’s clothing but can you have a sheep in wolves clothing?

Beautifully structured written text with illustrations that appear to stand out on the page. Wolf and lamb are drawn in black pencil and you want to reach out and touch them on the page.

Lamb carries a bag with the message “to knit or not to knit, that is the question” while wolf carries a book titled 50 ways with mutton.

A very witty publication.

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin

September 14, 2018 Comments off

inside villainsInside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin. Pub. Gecko Press, 2018.

This is a big big book with three of the big, big, biggest villains in children’s literature. Yes they are the Wolf, the Giant and the witch.

Each has a whole page spread in which you have a big interactive flap model of each of the Villains. For the Wolf you can see what is inside his stomach, see if you can guess what is in there. There is also a self written profile of the Wolf his likes, dislikes and qualities. He sees himself as cunning, highly intelligent with a like of children, pigs, grandmothers and baby goats. What a monster!! There is also the story of The Wolf and the Seven little goats.

The Giant is profiled similarly and he hates vegetables, he has big feet, enormous hands but he is ugly. And we get his best known story Jack and the Beanstalk. Check what is under his jacket after you take off his belt.

I am not going to tell you about the Witch you can find out for yourself.

Superb for juniors to play with and get to know the beauty of a book, believe me they need to know.

Wolfy by Gregoire Solotareff. translated by Daniel Hahn.

August 25, 2017 Comments off

wolfyWolfy by Gregoire Solotareff. translated by Daniel Hahn. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

A multi level picture book by an Egyptian author who lives in France. It is about friendship but also delves into deeper concepts such as Can the lion lay down with the lamb?

Wolfy is a wolf who has never seen a rabbit and Tom is a rabbit who has never seen a wolf. The two meet and become friends oblivious of the traditional roles that they have in each others lives. They bury an old wolf and talk about wolves eating rabbits and rabbits having fears about wolves. But become friends anyway as wolf has never tasted rabbit and rabbit isn’t scared of wolf.

The friendship is blissful until they play a game of Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? read it and find out what happens.

Great read-a loud for juniors and something for older readers to muse over.

Illustrations feature bold primary colours with the wolf in black and the rabbit in blue. A great addition to the school library and in the home.

Help! The Wolf is Coming by Ramadier & Bourgeau.

April 13, 2015 Comments off

help wolf comingHelp! The Wolf is Coming by Ramadier & Bourgeau. Imprint Gecko Press, 2015.

There is something about wolves that makes them come and get you and this boardbook for pre school and juniors is one of them

However it does have an added ingredient in that it is interactive. As the wolf tries to come and get you, the reader can tilt the book to make him fall and shake the book to turn him upside down. great fun.

Illustrated in three basic colours, yellow for the sky, green for the ground and black for the wolf with the written text in red and yellow. This boardbook is as is simple and as exciting as it gets.

Don’t forget to shut the book at the end or the wolf will get you. my grand daughters laughed with delight and wanted me to read it again and again as long as they could tilt and shake the book.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Little Red Riding Hood -Not Quite by Yvonne Morrison, illus Donovan Bixley

March 11, 2015 Comments off

red riding hoodLittle Red Riding Hood -Not Quite by Yvonne Morrison, illus Donovan Bixley. Pub. Scholastic, 2015.

Just as clever and enchanting as last years The Three Little Bears Sort of by the same pair.

This time the story of Little Red Riding Hood is dissected line by line and any anomalies in the story are questioned by a little girl in small blue polka dot pyjamas. Why was little red riding hood called that? What is a riding hood? How did the wolf swallow granny whole and then Little red riding hood as well? Surely the wof is too small to do this?

Why didn’t the wolf eat Little Red Riding Hood before going to Granny’s and how was the woodcutter so accurate as to cut open the wolf get granny and little red riding hood out without damaging them or the wolf.

Clearly the story needs thinking about.

Donovan Bixley’s illustrations are outstanding. He mixes lifelike imagery with childlike drawings and the written text is well placed throughout the illustrations. The wolf is terrific.

This will be popular and the same formula could be used by any child to dissect other nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

Good for reading, good for writing good for art and good for a laugh.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 3: the Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood

May 18, 2012 Comments off

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Bk 3 The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood. Pub. Balzar & Bray, Imprint HarperCollins, 2012.

This book is a brilliant piece of writing. School Library Journal called it “Jane Eyre meets lemony Snicket”, but it is better than that because of it’s humour and savage satire of the Aristocracy in Britain in Victorian times and perhaps even today.

Not that children will notice this as they read, they will be caught up in the incredible story of the children Beowolf, Alexander and sister Cassiopeia, the Incorrigible children. Incorrigible in this instance means you cannot change their true nature.

The children were brought up by wolves in the forest on the estate of Lady and Lord Ashton, and they howl and bark from time to time. The Ashton’s take them on as a social duty and hire a kindly, intelligent young governess called Penelope Lumley. The children and Penelope have something in common as neither know who their parents were. This is one of the mysteries of the series.

Into the story comes the widow Ashton who like Lady Ashton is a complete airhead. Widow Ashton brings with her a suitor in the form of Admiral Faucet (pronounced Fawsay). He is a complete schister who does everything for personal gain unless he is forced to do otherwise.

There are wolves in it and an ostrich called Bertha. It is brilliant fun from start to finish and ideal reading for those who like lemony Snicket and shaggy dog stories.

Categories: Humorous Stories, Mystery Tags: ,

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Pub. Scholastic New York 2009.

This is first and foremost a romance, a love story between Grace and Sam. It is also a story about werewolves but not in the horror movie sense. There is no blood and gore in this book.

At the age of 11, Grace was dragged off her swing by wolves while reading a book, and is saved from  death by a wolf with distinctive yellow eyes. She is bitten and mauled by the wolves and this normally means that she will change into a werewolf. She doesn’t, but will she change in the future?

Sam was bitten as a child of 7 and has made the transition from human to wolf every year till his current age of about 17. Sam was the wolf that saved Grace from the wolves who attacked her when she was 7 and he has watched her from the forest ever since.

Unknown to Sam, Grace has watched him and photographed him and one day he lets her touch him. You can feel the sparks fly.

When Sam is shot as a wolf after an attack on humans by other wolves, he changes into Sam the human and is found by Grace. What follows is the growing romance between them.
Maggie Stiefvater starts every chapter with the outside temperture in degrees Farenheit . There is a reason for this that the reader needs to solve.

It is a long novel and at times dwells on the romance without much action. But there is action and tension among the wolves and amongst the humans, that will keep the reader hanging out for the ending.

This novel is not quite Mills & Boon with wolves but it is close, and this is not a criticism. Will appeal to teenagers.

I enjoyed it and I’m a big burly lad.

Categories: Romance, Senior Fiction Tags: ,

Little Wolf’s Book of Badness by Ian Whybrow

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Little Wolf’s Book of Badness by Ian Whybrow. Pub. HarperCollins, 1995.

This is the first of a series of stories  aimed at younger readers that will have them rolling in the aisles.

This book introduces Little Wolf whose parents have sent him to Cunning College to learn Uncle Bigbad’s 9 Rules of Badness. His parents have decided that he is not bad enough because he brushes his teeth and combs his fur. Big Bad Wolves just don’t do this.

What follows is a number of letters from Little Wolf to his parents pleading to return home and an account of his adventures on the way to his uncle’s Cunning College.

Even for a big kid like me this had appeal. I would read it to my children if they were young enough.

Will appeal to children from ages 7 – 10. Have a look at them