cover image The Wolves Return

The Wolves Return

Celia Godkin. Pajama (IPS, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77278-011-6

Godkin (Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World) eloquently examines how the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park led to dramatic changes both in the landscape of the park and in the lives of the creatures that make their home there. “On a moonlit night, a howl rings out across the river valley,” startling elk who “have not heard this sound before.” The wolves’ predation drives the elk to the shelter of forested slopes, which allows trees and berry bushes to grow in the valley, feeding birds and bears, and giving beavers material to build dams. This, in turn, creates ponds that provide habitats for muskrats, ducks, and insects, among other developments. Godkin’s text focuses on the interconnectedness of the animals’ environment and how one ostensibly small change can have dramatic effects over time. Although the author emphasizes the necessary role that predators play, her mixed-media artwork avoids goriness, instead focusing on delicate textures of fur, feather, leaf, and grass. The hunts that removed wolves from the landscape in the first place (and their 1995 reintroduction) are covered in thorough back matter. Ages 6–9. (Jan.)