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WHEN I MET THE WOLF GIRLS by Deborah Noyes

WHEN I MET THE WOLF GIRLS

By Deborah Noyes (Author) , August Hall (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 14th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-618-60567-5
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Eight-year-old Bulu tells of the two wild children, Kamala and Amala, who were brought to her Indian orphanage to be tamed like the jungle around them. Illustrated in somber shades of brown, green and purple, the book opens with a scene of a vast watery wilderness and tiny wolf mother outside her den, which recalls Thomas Locker. It closes with Kamala and Bulu huddled in a room while fireworks light up the denuded landscape outside. In lively prose that begs to be read aloud, the author brings to life a vanished imperial world of missionaries, orphanages and shadowy jungle. Stick-limbed children are a contrast to the oversized, more rounded animals. The message here is quite different from that in Jane Yolen’s The Wolf Girls (2001), presented as a mystery: Were they or weren’t they truly feral children? Basing her story on an actual incident in northwest India in 1920, the author includes a photograph of the girls, a note about the history and sources including a website from which you can access the missionary’s own account. (Picture book. 4-8)