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Children's LiteratureWolves are fascinating animals, mysterious creatures of both our ecology and our mythology. Although this picture book by award-winning New Zealand author Markle looks remarkably similar to Seymour Simon's Wolves (HarperCollins, 1993) in size, shape, format, and quality of the lush color photographs (some even from the same sources), Markle's Wolves is longer and focuses on the predator role of these fierce hunters. The text, admirably extended by detailed full-page photos, takes the reader along on a wolf pack's hunt for moose, stressing the instincts, organization, and teamwork of the animals as they follow the alpha male in search of prey. When their efforts are rewarded, teamwork is forgotten as the alpha male and female claim their leaders' share of the feast. Also pictured are wolves tracking other prey like rabbits, deer, and the giant musk ox of the far north, while another set of pages shows newborn wolves feeding, growing, and eventually learning to hunt with the pack. Although various subspecies and the place of wolves in our ecology are not discussed in this volume of the "Animal Predator" series, a well-chosen bibliography lists other books and videos; a useful section called "Looking Back" helps readers to focus on some significant details and poses a question to discuss after reading. Middle readers and younger naturalists, too, will surely be intrigued by this close-up look at lupine predators in all their intelligence, power, and beauty. 2004, Carolrhoda, Ages 8 to 12.
—Barbara L. Talcroft