cover image Full Moon Pups

Full Moon Pups

Liz Garton Scanlon, illus. by Chuck Groenink. Putnam, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-51455-8

Rhyming quatrains by Garton Scanlon trace the birth and early lives of a litter of wolf cubs in this closely observed picture book marked by the moon’s phases. After days of watchful nursing, “The pups, still blind but crawling,/ start to feel their way around.// Tiny paws find roots and rocks,/ but hardly make a sound.” Drama arrives during a rainstorm: rising water threatens the pups, and older wolves help carry the litter to higher ground. As the moon wanes and nights turn darker, other threats loom, and the newly emboldened pups frolic and learn, maturing into playful youths over the next lunar cycle. Lush, deep blue multimedia spreads splashed with sunset tints by Groenink convey the majestic sweep of mountains and pine forests, and the animated facial expressions of the approachable-looking wolves. Notes about wolves’ life cycle in North America and the moon’s phases conclude. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)