JULIE OF THE WOLVES

Running away from an arranged marriage with simpleminded Donald, thirteen year-old Julie (she prefers Miyax, her Eskimo name) survives on the barren tundra by making friends with a family of wolves. Her patient, intelligent courting of the animals — observing their signs of leadership, submission, etc. and aping the appropriate ones — and her resourcefulness in keeping herself alive (first with a bite of meat a wolf regurgitates for her, then by smoking and freezing what the wolves leave of the caribou they kill) are meticulously observed. In a central flashback we learn of her life to date — at seal camp with Kapugen, her widowed father who taught her to live in the wild, in town with her unsympathetic aunt who calls her Julie, sends her to an American school, and tells her of Kapugen's presumed death, then with Donald's family, reasonably contented until he, goaded by the other boys, roughly attempts to assert his husbandly prerogative. Now Miyax plans to make her way to a harbor town, then fly to the pink bedroom and velvet theater seats promised by her pen pal in San Francisco. But as she nears the coast months later (the wolves still paralleling her course) a plane appears. Then the air explodes with gunshots and the magnificent Amaroq, her adoptive wolf father, is killed. "Black exhaust envolved her, and civilization became this monster that snarled across the sky." The final devastation occurs when Miyax, having heard from traveling hunters that Kapugen is alive, arrives at her father's new house to find, along with the harpoons and kayak and couch of furs, a white wife, electric lights, and a helmet and goggles. "'Aw, that. I now own an airplane, Miyax. It's the only way to hunt today. The seals are scarce and the whales are almost gone.' . . . Kapugen, after all, was dead to her," and later, alone in the snow, Miyax sings to the totem she has carved of Amaroq "that the hour of the wolf and the Eskimo is over." Though remarkable Miyax and her experience are totally believable, her spirit living evidence of the magnitude of the loss.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 1972

ISBN: 0064400581

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1972

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With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

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THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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