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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Lesson for the Wolf, written by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and illustrated by Alan Cook. Inhabit Media, Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 2015. $16.95 ages 4 and up

"Wolves dream of running free. But this wolf did not want to run. Wolves love to play. Yet this wolf had no interest in the sports of his brothers and sisters. Without him, the pack ran and played under a grand Sky..."

Here's another terrific book about the Arctic from Inhabit Media. It tells the tale of a wolf who isn't too pleased with his lot in life. He doesn't like to run, or play like his siblings. Rather, he spends his time carefully considering other animals who live on the Land.

He likes the caribou's antlers, the wolverine's tail, the white feathers of an owl. He spends little time with his family and does not join their hunts. Lonely and alone, he howls out his unhappiness to the Sky. In folktale fashion, his desire to be like other animals becomes reality. He finds caribou antlers, and wolverine hair, and even steals a feather from an owl.

Again, he sings out his song to the Land. With the power that comes from the Land, he is able to fuse his treasures into making a better version of himself ... or so he thinks. His brothers and sisters first laugh, then sympathize with his plight:

"He had no wings, so he could not hunt like an owl.
His nose was not as good as a wolverine's, so he could
not sniff out food for himself.
Their hearts broke as they watched him
nibble on lichen, like a caribou. He
always spat it out."

He runs from the pack. The mother wolf finds him and offers sage advice, and a solution to his loneliness.

Lesson learned.

Another excellent tale to share with little ones. Alan Cook's lively art shows the beauty of the Arctic and its animal inhabitants. His palette of browns, blues and whites make the landscape come alive for readers and his depiction of the animals show their grace and strength.

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