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The Wolves
     

The Wolves

by Brian J. Heinz, Bernie Fuchs (Illustrator)
 

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An evocative story about a clan of gray wolves struggling to survive in a frozen land, The Wolves is a majestic tribute to one of nature's most fascinating creatures. Food is scarce, but at last Pahtoo and his pack have found the elk herd they have tracked for 20 miles. If the hunt is successful, there will be time later for playing and resting under a star-filled sky

Overview

An evocative story about a clan of gray wolves struggling to survive in a frozen land, The Wolves is a majestic tribute to one of nature's most fascinating creatures. Food is scarce, but at last Pahtoo and his pack have found the elk herd they have tracked for 20 miles. If the hunt is successful, there will be time later for playing and resting under a star-filled sky. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Paying tribute to nature in all its beauty and brutality, Heinz (Arctic Fox) delivers a spellbinding account of a starving wolf pack's hunt for food. Pahtoo and his pack have been suffering through a harsh winter with little to eat and have finally closed in on a herd of elk. The wolves must now use their cunning, skill and experience to kill their prey. The author's action-filled, present-tense account and expressive language quicken the pulse. Fuchs's (Ragtime Tumpie) wintry oils, awash in pale, creamy pink and purple light, feature hauntingly intense wolves and terrified, desperate elk. The lines of his compositions are softened, drafting readers' imaginations in place of explicit detail. The combination of text and art is formidable competition for any television documentary. Younger children may be upset by the violence of this food chain; older readers and naturalists will appreciate the wild elegance and efficiency captured here. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
A sensitive portrait of an endangered species' survival in the wilderness. Pahtoo, the leader of the wolf pack, leads his clan on a successful hunt among a herd of elk. The text assists the young reader in understanding the delicate balance of animals who live in the wilderness and the importance to man of maintaining that delicate balance. The subtly rendered paintings provide the perfect backdrop for drawing the reader into the story.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4Powerful, impressionistic oil paintings frame a spare text recording a winter hunt by a wolf pack as its alpha pair direct it in separating an ailing elk from her herd. The ecological messagesthat wolves hunt to eat, and culling benefits most herdsare strong. Wolf behaviors are presented accurately in both the text and in the dramatic illustrations. Heinz avoids anthropomorphism (though he names the alpha pair and indicates some thought processes), and he includes a historical note on the decimation of the wolf in the lower 48 states. Fuchs's paintings, while not photographic in detail, are realistic. The Wolves is a fine example of a genre of simply written, heavily illustrated, ecology-based books. Coupled with Celia Godkin's Wolf Island (W. H. Freeman, 1995), it makes an excellent introduction to the wolf and its place in the natural world.Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
In a preface to this powerful story, Heinz (The Alley Cat, 1993, etc.) provides historical information on wolves in North America as well as their present situation. The mountains are characterized in language that is poetic without being heavy-handed, when out of the fog comes a pack of wolves. A dozen animals are described: their place in the pack, their approximate ages. Driving them and driving the story is their hunger, their crucial need to find food. They close in on a sick and aging elk after testing the strength of the others in the herd. The wolves "become strange allies to the remaining elk," because the sick elk has slowed down the herd and eaten food that could have nourished healthy animals. After the kill, the wolves are shown playing, sleeping, and finally howling at the moon in an "eerie symphony from the mountains to the heavens."

In fervent harmony with the text, and in tones of lavender and taupe, Fuchs's oil paintings are authoritative and exciting. The compositions and perspectives portray danger, fear, and violence without showing the kill; in his artistry, Fuchs convinces onlookers of the impact of the event without subjecting them to the gore. An exquisite story of the wild.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803717350
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.34(w) x 8.86(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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