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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Face to Face with Wolves (Juvenile Non-Fiction)

Released May 2008

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

Jim Brandenburg says that “if you want to follow wolves in the wild, you have to think like a wolf.” He wanted to see them when he was young, but they are an elusive animal and don’t often let themselves be seen. Years later, he finally was able to see and photograph them in the Canadian Arctic, where they aren’t quite as shy. After three summers he left to return home to northern Minnesota, anxious to use the skills he had learned . . . this time perhaps he would be able to find and photograph them!

Judy, his wife, who also holds a fascination with wolves, helped Jim write this book. The red wolf and the gray wolf live in North America. Many people used to hate and fear wolves. Do you remember Laura’s father, Charles Ingalls, from the Little House series? He was so petrified of the wolves his hair practically stood on end? Today people aren’t as frightened of them because people like the Brandenburgs are educating us about their ways. Scientists say wolf families are similar to human families in that they actually take care of one another and have a social structure!

Sadly wolves in the lower 48 states are on the endangered species list. This book is very comprehensive and sympathetic toward the wolf. The photography is stunning and the storyline is quite appealing. The book has a map, fascinating sidebar material, a “How You Can Help” section, ideas on how to enjoy wolves, “Facts at A Glance,” a glossary, and lists additional recommended books and web sites. Does anyone want to learn how to "speak wolf?"

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