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The Eyes of Gray Wolf    by Jonathan London & Jon Van Zyle order for
Eyes of Gray Wolf
by Jonathan London
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Long ago wolf howls were heard across North America. However, in the last hundred years - through humans hunting them and destroying their territory - wolves have become an endangered species. Author Jonathan London, who has written more than eighty children's books, adds his poetic voice to the fight to bring these beautiful and wild creatures back from the brink of extinction with his latest book, The Eyes of the Gray Wolf.

The story begins on a lonely and cold winter night. A gray wolf has lost his mate to a steel trap, and he wanders the night restlessly. While chasing after a snowshoe hare on the moonlit snow he hears the howls of a nearby pack of wolves. A pure white wolf steps up, greets him, circles him, and wags her tail. The two head off together, curling up warmly beside each other in the long winter night. In the spring they will start a pack together.

London's story tells of some of the struggles wolves face. At the end of the book, for those readers who want to learn more, there is a section about the history of wolves. London tells about how people in the Middle Ages viewed wolves as terrifying and evil (the big, bad wolf) while in reality they are shy creatures. He gives information about various groups working to protect wolves, and hopes that, through children and adults' support of wolf sanctuaries, we will once again hear the 'wild, untamed music' of the wolves.

While London's sparse text helps the story unfold and makes the reader feel the chill of the winter night, Jon Van Zyle's illustrations breathe life into the tale of the gray wolf. Van Zyle is considered one of Alaska's premier wildlife artists, and entranced readers will know why when they see the beautiful shades and colors he uses to create the feel of the wolf's lonely and snowy journey to find a mate. This book is a wonderful winter story and would be a useful classroom book for teachers. Both adults and children alike will be captured by the text and illustrations.

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