Monday, October 24, 2016

The Wolf-Birds by Willow Dawson


“Two birds dip their wings and cry out. Three wolves follow.”

The Wolf-Birds is a beautifully illustrated picture book created by Willow Dawson exploring the true relationship between ravens and wolves. This book made its way into my life one day when I happened to be thinking about the interesting symbiotic bond between these two creatures, and lo and behold the very next day, I saw this book in the catalog! Destiny! I knew I had to read it, and was not disappointed!

“Stretching, then turning towards home.”
In the wild, ravens have been known to work together with wolves to find prey, leading the wolves to easy food with wing signals and special calls. In return, the ravens get a portion of the wolves’ meal. The author/illustrator researched this book thoroughly, using live animals for reference for the behaviors and images of the characters. (Be sure not to miss out on the cool and informational author’s note at the back of the book!)

Since ‘The Wolf-Birds’ is about natural animal behaviors, it does show hunting sequences with the wolves. However, these scenes aren’t particularly frightening. Just be aware this book does contain animal death. (No worse than say, The Lion King.)

“Trundling over a snowy hill, down to a warm den.”

Overall this book makes for an excellent way to start introducing a child to the natural world and to the concept of the food web. It’s real, but not scary, fun to look at and read, and simple. Anyone looking to add a little bit of true life and interest to their reading diet should definitely check this out at your local VBPL branch.

Howl to Bow-wowJust look at this sweet face!
Looking for other stories about the ancestors of man's best friends? Try out From Wolf to Woof! by Hudson Talbott and Gray Wolves by Mary Meinking.

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