cover image Walk with a Wolf

Walk with a Wolf

Janni Howker. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0319-9

This poetic picture book takes readers into the snowy Yukon Territory, where wolves roam (as they once did throughout the Northern Hemisphere). ""Walk with a wolf in the cold air before sunrise./ She moves, quiet as mist,/ between spruce trees and birches."" Howker's spare words capture the spartan season in which food is scarce and the landscape barren. Yet, here and there, the narrative blossoms with lovely metaphor and stings with harsh realism: the sky is alive with ""a million gray ice moths""; when the pack attacks a moose, ""drops of his blood fall like berries to the ground."" Unobtrusive explanatory notes follow the curves of the illustrations in italics--embellishing spacious white backgrounds with the subtlest shades of gray tints and tan washes. The effect may appear bland to some readers, but elegant to others. Author and artist offer readers a rare and intimate glimpse of a wolf's wintry world. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)