Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Wolves Return: A New Beginning for Yellowstone National Park by Celia Godkin (Review)

We are always amazed at how much we learn from children's non-fiction books. This one is an educational and excellent portrayal of the value of wolves in maintaining a healthy wildlife and ecosystem.

Book Details:

Title: The Wolves Return: A New Beginning for Yellowstone National Park by Celia Godkin
ISBN: 9781772780116
Category: Children's Non-Fiction, 32 pages
Published: March 23, 2017
Published by: Pajama Press
For ages 6-9
Content rating: G

Book Description:

In 1995–96 twenty-three grey wolves were released in Yellowstone National Park where, due to over-hunting, there had been no wolves at all for almost seventy years. This reintroduction project was an overwhelming success. Over twenty years later we can still see the changes the grey wolves brought to Yellowstone National Park. Now that the elk graze higher ground, seedlings are growing tall, rivers are getting deeper as beavers return, and a lively pond ecosystem is developing. This true story offers an important lesson about the difference one creature can make in creating a healthy, thriving world.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

Who couldn't love this book about the value of wolves? From the pencil crayon and watercolour illustrations to the beautiful text, it's an amazing book for both adults and children. It highlights how very important are all creatures and how one animal alone contributes to a thriving natural world.

This is an educational tool, both for teaching children geography, as Yellowstone National Park is featured, but as well, enabling them to learn the names of birds, animals, fish, and flies, as illustrated on the inside covers, front and back. I learned that the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone has resulted in the elk grazing on higher ground to escape the wolves, which has resulted in tree seedlings in the valley to grow tall, which has allowed the beavers to use the trees to build dams, which has resulted in the establishment of thriving wetlands.

The colourful illustrations will certainly appeal to children, especially those who are already animal lovers. I appreciate the information pages regarding the history of wolves in North America. I can't say enough about this beautiful book that contains such important life lessons. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Laura Fabiani and Son

It's a sad reality that most city children have never seen live wild animals (except perhaps at the zoo) or know much about them. Both my son and I were surprised by how much we enjoyed and learned from reading this book. With clear informative text and beautiful illustrations, the author has succeeded in teaching us that large predators play a vital role in the health of the ecosystems where they live.

Because the European settlers who came to America in the 1800s found it difficult to grow crops and raise livestock in wolf territory, there ensued a wolf hunt that practically obliterated the wolves. This disrupted nature's balance, so in 1995, thirteen wolves that were captured in Canada were released in Yellowstone National Park. And what a difference this has made. This is what this book is about. 

Children who are animal lovers will especially enjoy the depictions of the various animals such as the beavers, elk, birds, hawks, ducks and others, as they experience the healthy changes that the return of the wolves has created. The lesson is that wildlife is to be respected and we need to learn to co-exist with them. My son and I enjoyed this book and we especially liked that on the front and back inside covers are the names and illustrations of all the plants and animals in the book. 

This book should be included in all school libraries and can be used when teaching science and nature in elementary schools. An excellent addition to a home library too.

Disclaimer: Thanks to the publisher for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Celia Godkin’s career has included work in biology, scientific illustration, and teaching adult art classes at both the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto, where achieved the rank of Associate Professor and received two teaching awards. As an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, she is best known for debut book, Wolf Island, which won the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award. Celia has continued to write and illustrate children’s books with environmental themes including Fire! which was shortlisted for the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non- Fiction. Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World was nominated for the Green Earth Book Award, the Rainforest of Reading Award, and the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Born in England, Celia lives in Eastern Ontario.

Find out more by visiting the author's website.

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  1. Yellowstone is a fabulous family vacation destination. Our kids were around middle school age when we went (all in their 30s now). They still talk about that trip! Fun to follow on Periscope too. This sounds like a wonderful book!

    1. We've never been, but it sounds like a beautiful place to explore.

  2. This looks like a beautiful, important book.

  3. I agree; I always learn tons from children's non-fiction books!


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