To the Top of the World; Adventures with Arctic Wolves

To the Top of the World; Adventures with Arctic Wolves

by Jim Brandenburg

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A wildlife photographer records in text and photographs two visits to Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, where he filmed a pack of Arctic wolves over several months.

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A wildlife photographer records in text and photographs two visits to Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, where he filmed a pack of Arctic wolves over several months.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is a truly compelling and superbly photo-graphed chronicle of a wildlife photographer's unique experience. . . . Few will be likely to think of wolves in the same way again.” —Booklist (starred review)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wildlife photographer Brandenburg's account of a summer he spent near the Arctic Circle with a pack of white wolves is spirited by wildness, discovery and danger, yet also gentled by awe, mutual respect and profound emotion. ``Thrilled'' at the prospect of knowing wolves ``that hadn't learned to fear humans,'' Brandenburg slips into their world without interrupting it and captures their behaviors, personalities and intelligence in word pictures nearly as descriptive and articulate as his photography. On the musicality of howling: ``Every wolf avoided hitting the same note . . . . When this happened by accident, one of the voices would frantically shuffle about until discord could be achieved once again.'' Although wary of anthropomorphism, Brandenburg writes that ``animals undoubtedly have more feelings than we give them credit for.'' This subtle, underlying persuasion, while never overwrought, gives the book a magnetic appeal. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Renowned wildlife photographer Brandenburg spent a summer on Ellesmere Island recording a pack of Arctic wolves. He tries to dispel the myths surrounding this widely misunderstood animal through this full-color photo-essay and engaging text. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Orbis Pictus Award and many other awards.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
On assignment to photograph arctic wolves for National Geographic, Jim Brandenburg flew to Ellesmere Island in Canada's Northwest Territories, about 500 miles from the North Pole. The striking photographs and observations in To the Top of the World, his account of the trip, provide youngsters a glimpse of Canis lupus arctos during the springtime when life in the pack revolves around nurturing newborn pups. Mr. Brandenburg accompanied wildlife-biologist L. David Mech, who described their stay in the May 1987 National Geographic article "At Home with the Arctic Wolf." Send youngsters to the library to read the article for additional information about this relatively rare subspecies of grey wolf and to note the similarities and differences in the two perspectives and presentations.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A brief text and incredible full-color photographs tell the story of Brandenburg's Arctic summer excursion, during which he took pictures of a pack of wolves who seemed to accept his presence and allow him to approach them closely. On the day of his departure, the entire pack appeared at the airstrip to witness his leaving, as if to say good-bye. His artfully composed, crisp pictures capture the five-week old puppies' initial explorations outside their den, and their escapades with their baby-sitter, Scruffy, as well as howling practice. He offers intriguing examples of how the pecking order operates; in one dramatic episode, the wolves bring down a musk-ox. Through a series of well-chosen vignettes, the author shares plenty of information about the life cycle of animals, although this is not his main purpose. He clearly wants to communicate his awe for these wild creatures, and hopes to dispel any negative stereotypes that exist in readers' minds. His enthusiasm is evident in every well-chosen word. Laurence Pringle's Wolfman (Scribners, 1983; o.p.) concentrates on the work of one scientist in Minnesota; Scott Barry's The Kingdom of Wolves (Putnam, 1979; o.p.) is a more detailed exploration of the animals' habits. Both are accompanied by black-and-white photographs. Wolves (HarperCollins, 1993) by Seymour Simon offers the basic overview report writers require but To the Top of the World is clearly the most captivating.- Ellen Fader, Oregon State Library, Salem

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Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.86(w) x 8.74(h) x 0.15(d)
1070L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Minnesota photographer, Jim Brandenburg, began his career as a natural history photographer and filmmaker while majoring in studio art at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He went on to become Picture Editor at the Worthington Daily Globe in southern Minnesota. While at the Daily Globe, Brandenburg began freelancing for National Geographic.

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