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CIRCUS OF THE WOLVES by Jack Bushnell

CIRCUS OF THE WOLVES

By Jack Bushnell (Author) , Robert Andrew Parker (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-12554-9

 The poetically told story of Kael, a timber wolf captured and trained for the circus by a strong but gentle man who eventually allows his magnificent charge to return to the wild. In his first children's book, Bushnell uses the unnamed trainer's monologues to express a sense of the beauty and power of wild creatures and the awed excitement that stirs humans who watch them; he also evokes a singular feeling for the spotlit circus ring as ``a kind of charmed place'' surrounded by ``people who laugh and become afraid.'' The author skirts anthropomorphism in narrating from Kael's point of view, but--despite its romanticism--the story is deeply felt and genuinely dramatic. In an interesting endnote, he disavows any knowledge of actual performing wolves. As always, Parker is less concerned with verisimilitude than with essence; his illustrations are spare marvels of composition, line, and color, a perfect distillation of the text. (Picture book. 8+)