A counting book which follows wolf activity through the months of the year.
Publishers Weekly - February 2009
In this counting/calendar book dedicated to dogs’ distant cousins, debut picturebook author Cohn along with Detwiler (The First Teddy Bear) concentrate on personality and ambience, reserving facts and insights for a closing instructional guide. Cohn makes use of rhyming couplets, with a structured, repeating form that emphasizes the progressing months and increasing numbers. In February, two wolves enjoy a snowy frolic “deep in the woods where the harsh winds blow”; May brings the birth of five “fuzzy pups, funny pups” who “sniff and stare”; and September finds a pack of nine putting their natural camouflage to use among the brilliant foliage (and giving readers an opportunity to pick them out). Detwiler invokes just the right amount of romanticism: her wolves tussle in the purple rays of a frigid sunrise and dance, silhouetted, in the falling shadows of twilight—but they’re always unmistakably wild. Readers should be captivated by the animals’ resilient joie de vivre as well as by their habitats’ seasonal glories. The educational guide offers wolf facts, activities and details about their life cycle.
School Library Journal - June 2009 A year in the life of wolves is told through verse in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Readers and listeners will be completely engaged in the rhythm of the poetry, which conveys the movement and habits of wolves. “Five wolves peek at a bright May sunbeam–/fuzzy pups, funny pups, sniff and stare./Five wolves peek at a bright May sunbeam/deep in the woods in the fresh spring air.” Realisticart shows their movements, both active and sedentary. Young listeners will be able to complete rhyming sentences as the book is read and understand the use of alliteration. Useful for counting, as well as learning about the animals, seasons of the year, and poetry, this book may be enjoyed by beginning readers as well as researchers. “Wolf Fun Facts,” “Wolf Life Cycle,” “Wolf Calendar Activity,” information about hunting and endangered wolves, and a Web site with reproducible activities are included. Students will want to read Jean Craighead George’s The Wolves Are Back (Dutton, 2008) and Gail Gibbons’s Wolves (Holiday House, 1994) for additional material.–Nancy Baumann, Indian Paintbrush Elementary, Laramie, WY
Booklist - February 2009 Arranged as a counting book that begins with a single wolf in January and adds one more for each month of the year, this nonfiction picture book presents verse and paintings set in a forest. On each double-page spread, a rhymed quatrain indicates the month of the year, the number of wolves, and what they are doing, while a vivid, realistic painting illustrates the weather as well as the place and the wolves’ activities. Using lighting and seasonal cues skillfully, Detwiler achieves more variety than might be expected. The concept of adding one wolf each month doesn’t create a believable narrative thread, but there’s plenty to engage children in the individual scenes of woods and wolves. An appended section offers two illustrated activities as well as information about the life cycle, hunting behavior, and endangered status of wolves. - Carolyn Phelan