cover image Red Wolf Country

Red Wolf Country

Jonathan London. Dutton Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45191-4

This lyrical prose poem follows a pair of red wolves as they cross the boundary between seasons, from the icy fringe of winter into spring (when ``the sounds of birds and bees tremble in the air''). More direct and less metaphorical than London's The Eyes of Gray Wolf, this narrative embraces humor (the wolves mistakenly stalk a skunk), danger (a farmer's bullet barely misses the female) and suspense (what is She-Wolf's secret that ``grows and grows''?). As is characteristic of many London books, the text emerges from facts about endangered animals: in 1980, the red wolf was extinct in the wild; today, after the reintroduction of captive pairs in eastern North Carolina, nearly 100 wolves roam free. San Souci's elegant, full-spread watercolors track the text through varied light and landscapes-producing perhaps the most compatible collaboration yet in London's series of wildlife tales. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)