Author(s): Rosanne Parry (auth.), Mónica Armiño (illus.)
Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication date: 2nd May 2019
The wolf star, brightest of all in the summer sky, shines over my home ground. I know every hidden lake and rocky ridge, but if my pack is not in the mountains, then it is no home to me. I feel a howl deep inside, but dare not let it out.
Swift lives with his pack in the mountains, until one day his home and family are lost. Alone and starving, Swift must make a choice: stay and try to eke out a desperate life on the borders of his old hunting grounds, or strike out and find a new place to call home. The journey Swift must go on is long and full of peril for a lone wolf, and he’ll need to take every chance he can. Will he find the courage to survive all by himself?
I have to confess to not knowing much about wolves. I think they’re beautiful creatures but I knew nothing about the way they live. A Wolf Called Wander is an illustrated novel following the journey of a young wolf called Swift (the name Wander is explained in the book).
The book is from Swift’s perspective but I should be clear that this is not an attempt to anthropomorphise wolves – their behaviour and communication is in keeping with the animal. It’s almost like Parry has translated the behaviour for our benefit and understanding.
The story of swift is both tragic and beautiful. As we follow him through the challenges he faces, such as injury and trying to hunt alone, we begin to understand what it is to face adversity and persevere through it.
More importantly, however, A Wolf Called Wander confronts us, as readers and as humans, on our perspective on wolves. It reminds us that they are wonderfully intelligent, inquisitive beings, but crucially that humans are encroaching in the wolves’ territory. We have a duty to protect these magnificent creatures so they are able to live in peace and without fear of being hunted.
A Wolf Called Wander would make a fantastic classroom read for students aged 8-12. It is a perfect opportunity to study and discuss wolves, as well as the topics of conservation and protecting animals. Armiño’s illustrations are incredibly emotive and detailed and with Parry’s story, will certainly keep young readers entranced.
Many thanks to Andersen Press for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can support your local bookshop by buying A Wolf Called Wander through them directly, or via Hive.
What do you think of A Wolf Called Wander? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.