The Wolves of Currumpaw

William Grill. Nobrow (Consortium, dist.), $24 (80p) ISBN 978-1-909263-83-3
Greenaway Medal–winner Grill (Shackleton's Journey) leaves the Antarctic for the New Mexico desert of the 1890s in a haunting retelling of Ernest Thompson Seton's short story his attempt to capture Lobo, "a giant among wolves," whose pack had been terrorizing settlers in the Currumpaw valley for years. After many skilled hunters failed to kill the gray wolf, Seton arrived from New York City to try his hand, discovering more about Lobo than the previous men, including that the wolves were killing the ranchers' cattle out of necessity. He eventually secured Lobo after capturing and killing his mate, Blanca, an act that, along with Lobo's subsequent death, led Seton to devote "the rest of his life to protecting the wolf species." Alternating among small vignettes, sequential panels, and sweeping spreads of desert vistas and expansive skies, Grill's rough-hewn pencil artwork amplifies Seton's internal turmoil and the grim skirmishes between man and wolf through a limited palette of rust red, drab blue, taupe, and charcoal. It's a powerful, cinematic work of naturalistic fiction that deftly outlines the importance of respecting nature. Ages 7–14. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2016
Release date: 07/12/2016
Genre: Children's
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