The Wolf Effect: A Wilderness Revival Story

Greenwillow. May 2024. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062969583.
Gr 2-4–The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park after the animals were hunted almost to the point of extinction is the topic of this intriguing book that combines the story of how the presence or absence of one species can affect an entire ecosystem. From the earliest human inhabitants to the establishment of Yellowstone as the country’s first national park in 1872 to modern times, the story follows the effort to first rid the park of wolves, seen as a threat, to the realization that they in fact were important to the delicate balance of both animals and plants. The text, complemented by exceptionally appealing pen and ink illustrations, includes a series of informational panels, a dialogue between a wolf and a coyote who serve as quasi-narrators, and several pages of lyrical rhyming text. Parry makes the complicated subject of a trophic cascade accessible to young readers, though some will find navigating through the many different graphic representations a challenge. Back matter includes a pictorial study of all the animals pictured in the book, a history of wolves in the American west, an artist’s note, a glossary, and additional resources.
VERDICT A worthy purchase for the animal lovers in the library.

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