A near-wordless story of kindness repaid.
As the book starts, readers see a dark-haired, light-skinned family starting their day. A girl in a red, hooded parka bids goodbye to her dog, and with snow beginning to come down, she’s off to school. As it happens, a wolf pack is also on the move. On her way home the snow has intensified. In a dramatic two-page spread the wolf pack can be seen walking in the girl’s direction, clouds of steamy air coming out of mouths filled with pointy teeth. As the girl trudges on, head lowered to the falling snow, and the wolf pack also trudges on, a wolf cub is left behind. Eventually, the girl and the scared, lost cub meet. Hearing the wolf pack howling in the distance, the girl takes the cub and, facing many perils, reunites cub and pack. Now exhausted and unable to move on, she collapses in the snow. The grateful pack returns favor for favor, and as its members surround and protect the girl, they howl in a call to her family, who has been out looking for her. The last page shows the family warm and safe back home. What distinguishes this book are the many feelings that Cordell’s pen-and-ink–with-watercolor illustrations capture so well—cold, fear, courage, exhaustion, relief—keeping readers hooked to the end.
Deeply satisfying. (Picture book. 4-8)