cover image Rose Wolves (Rose Wolves #1)

Rose Wolves (Rose Wolves #1)

Natalie Warner. Top Shelf, $14.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-60309-531-0

An unnamed child who’s missing an arm discovers a strange rosebush while wandering in the woods in this wordless graphic novel by debut creator Warner. After tumbling down a cliffside and emerging from a cave unharmed, the protagonist plucks a rose from the bush. Now she faces the daunting task of returning home through a dark and threatening landscape lit only by the full moon. With no one welcoming her back, the girl puts her rose in a vase before falling asleep and awakens to find a three-legged black wolf with a rose tail. As the two new friends spend the day together and Rose Wolf loses petals from its tail, the girl realizes that the wolf must return home. On their trek through the forest, their peaceful stroll turns perilous when a white wolf attacks and injures Rose Wolf. Warner’s sketchy illustrations, rendered using varying red hues, eloquently convey a story of love, friendship, and acceptance that is heartwarming and sweet without being saccharine. Notes about the comic’s inception and inspiration conclude. The protagonist’s skin tone reflects the white of the page. Ages 9–12. (Nov.)