cover image The Eyes of the Gray Wolf

The Eyes of the Gray Wolf

Chronicle Books, Jonathan London. Chronicle Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0285-7

Gray Wolf, bereft of his mate, hunts alone in the snow-bright night, unknowingly infringing on another pack's territory. ``His eyes burn like steady flames. The leader of the pack stares back. Their eyes lock. The moon burns a hole in the night.'' Returning to the ambience of The Owl Who Became the Moon (Children's Forecasts, Dec. 28, 1992), London recreates this single moment--frozen in time, saturated with tension and possibility. And the power of this moment generates a story. Words pour out, as fierce as the arctic cold or as luminous as the yellow moon (a wolf ``floats over the snow . . . flowing like water''), evoking genuine feeling without humanizing animals, and portraying nature without being teacherly. In his full-spread watercolors, Van Zyle--an Iditarod racer who keeps a team of Siberian huskies (close descendants of the wolf)--depicts the arctic night and its wolves with uncommon intimacy and ease. Ages 3-8. (Aug.)