When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature's Balance in Yellowstoneby Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, Dan Hartman
Now, more than a decade after scientists realized the wolves'
Yellowstone National Park's majestic geologic wonders and remarkable wildlife draw millions of visitors each year. But there was a time when these natural treasures were in great danger, all because after years of unrestricted hunting, one key piece of the puzzle had been eliminated—the wolf.
Now, more than a decade after scientists realized the wolves' essential role and returned them to Yellowstone, the park's natural balance is gradually being restored. The informative dual-level text and spectacular full-color photographs show the wolves in the natural habitat that was almost lost without them. Readers of all ages will be inspired by the delicate natural system that is Yellowstone.
Gr 2-5- Removal of one predator-the wolf-from Yellowstone National Park caused the decline of many animal species, subsequently changing the very terrain of the area as ponds and trees also disappeared. The rise and fall and interdependence of species are explained simply in this slim survey of some of the park's wildlife. Patent begins with the Congressional designation of Yellowstone as a national park in 1872, stating that in the early years the geologic wonders rather than the animals were the main attraction. The wolf was a popular hunting target, and its demise led to an overpopulation of elk and coyotes and a complex chain of effects. The format sets small chunks of text and two or three small color photographs on a black background at the far right of the spread. A large color photo fills the remaining space, with a framed sentence superimposed on the picture. The two blocks of text become repetitive, but they're apparently intended as a dual-level text, so that children can read either the briefer explanations on the left or the longer ones opposite. Bits of background terrain are seen in the pictures, but they do not capture the dramatic decline and renewal of the ecosystem suggested. There is no map to indicate the large size and location of Yellowstone. The book concludes with a review quiz with small animal photos.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Meet the Author
Dorothy Hinshaw Patent has written more than a hundred booksmostly nonfiction and photo-essays for childrenincluding The Right Dog for the Job, which earned a starred review from School Library Journal, and Flashy Fantastic Rain Forest Frogs. Dorothy lives in Montana with her husband. Visit her Web site at www.dorothyhinshawpatent.com.
Dan and Cassie Hartman, a father-daughter team, live on the northeast border of Yellowstone National Park and have photographed a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. Sixteen-year-old Cassie had her first photograph published in Montana Outdoors magazine when she was only ten years old; Dan's work has been published in National Wildlife and National Geographic. The Hartmans have also operated their "Wildlife Along the Rockies" Gallery in Silver Gate, Montana, for the past seventeen years. Visit their Web site at www.wildlifealongtherockies.homestead.com.
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