cover image Look to the North: A Wolf Pup Diary

Look to the North: A Wolf Pup Diary

Jean Craighead George. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023641-0

This year-long chronicle follows three wolf pups born in Alaska's alpine tundra. While tracking seasonal changes in the lower 48 states, entries invite readers to ""look to the north"" to see what the wolf pups are doing simultaneously. This engaging device not only connects readers to an unfamiliar realm, but opens their eyes to their own environment. ""When you see dandelions turning silver, look to the north,"" George urges. ""Wolf pups are being born."" When firecrackers ""shoot skyward,"" the wolves are learning to communicate through gesture and by marking with their scent. George's (Julie of the Wolves; Dear Rebecca, Winter Is Here) storytelling skills and first-time illustrator Washburn's realistic acrylic paintings bring the wolves' seemingly inaccessible domain utterly within reach. Youngsters will recognize bits of themselves: the pups play king of the hill, tug-of-war and football, and when they're bored, they ""jump on the baby-sitter""; they fight to find their places in the pack. Tender details sprinkle this fact-filled account (e.g., when the wolves dash over spring's new carpet of blue harebells, they do not step on a single flower, and when the lost, injured beta wolf is found, the pack tends to him until he is well). A sure bet for animal lovers. Ages 5-9. (Apr.)