This book is effective in instilling guilt for the destruction of the wolves' habitat without providing much instruction about the animal itself or attempts to reintroduce the wolf to its original range. The photographs of wolves and their prey are wonderful, filled with light. The text describes the necessity for clean water and land to sustain the entire food web below top predators such as the wolf. The author pleads that "we" must help the wolf survive, but the only concrete suggestions for doing so are a list of addresses in an appendix, with instructions to write congressional representatives and environmental organizations to support attempts to protect the wolf.
- Beverly Kobrin
In his paean to the natural order of things, the author explains how carnivores maintain nature's balance; and that to survive, they need everyone's help. He challenges youngsters to keep in mind that the survival of healthy predators means healthier prey in numbers the land can support. Mr. Mangelsen' photographs eloquently illuminate Mr. Hirschi's words.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-5-A heartfelt, impassioned plea for the return of the wolf to the territories it once roamed. Hirschi makes frequent references to the respect Native Americans have long held for this intelligent predator, and cites the role wolves play in maintaining proper balances in a natural world. However, the landscape necessary for a wolf pack is large, and demands minimal human presence. Where is there sufficient wilderness? Definite location is not addressed. Generalities are. While coyotes have adapted to life among freeways and subdivisions (snacking on cats and small dogs), the very different social structure of the wolf makes such integrated existence difficult, particularly as many humans will object strongly to sharing space with a large predator prone to running in packs. Preserving the wilderness that remains is essential for wolf survival and probably vital to our spiritual well-being as humans too. However, we must remember during such environmental efforts that The Apple has been eaten. There is no direct return route to Eden without either divine intervention or an unprecedented re-run of the evolutionary tape. Accompanied by some nice full-color photos of wilderness inhabitants, the text provides readers with the addresses of conservation organizations and urges them to join a letter-writing campaign to congressional representatives and the Secretary of the Interior. Hirschi's sincerity shines on every page, but the idyllic future he envisions faces some tough decisions in the present.-Patricia Manning, Eastchester Public Library, NY