cover image The Wave of the Sea-Wolf

The Wave of the Sea-Wolf

David Wisniewski. Clarion Books, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-66478-0

Drawing on myths of the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest, Wisniewski's (Sundiata: Lion King of Mali) dramatic tale combines folklore with history, describing the Tlingit respect for the earth and the people's first encounters with European explorers. After Kchokeen, a princess, is blessed with a vision of the mighty Sea-Wolf, she has the ability to predict the terrible ocean storms that have claimed so many lives in the past. For a time, her village lives safely, trading with newly arrived foreigners, but war breaks out when the outsiders turn greedy. Kchokeen must turn the power of Sea-Wolf against them in order to save her own people. Vivid storytelling is complemented by textured cut-paper illustrations that paint the forest landscape in lacy layers. Their intricacy captures the strength and dangerous beauty of the ocean, while slender silhouettes of trees against the moon are calmly awe-inspiring. Wisniewski's ability to convey both high drama and simple emotion lends a sense of authenticity to this original tale. A wise and appealing picture book. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)