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FAMILY PACK by Sandra Markle


by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Alan Marks

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58089-217-9
Publisher: Charlesbridge

As they did with their award-winning A Mother's Journey (2005), Markle and Marks bring the natural world close through the story of a single female animal—in this case, one of the grey wolves released into Yellowstone National Park in 1995. The young female chooses to live and hunt on her own for a year but eventually encounters a solitary male, with whom she mates and raises pups. The family becomes the first naturally formed pack in Yellowstone. The author manages to leave humankind out of the story; without a hint of anthropomorphism but with vivid, poetic language, she shows readers the wolves bound only by nature—"the young wolf stops, watching her prey escape / through a silver cloud of panted breath." Likewise, the illustrator’s watercolors add drama and energy (but no gore), all the while keeping the wolves’ animal nature paramount. The wolves in action are especially fine: The female pounces on the mouse in the snow; with her mate, she corners a buck. An excellent story for wolf-lovers and a welcome addition to elementary-school science shelves. (Informational picture book. 4-10)