Review: Wolf Song

reviewed by Jennifer and Violet Ecklund-Johnson

Wolf Song by Mary Bevis, illustrated by Consie Powell

Wolf Song tells the story of a young girl, Nell, and her Uncle Walter embarking on a north woods adventure to howl with the wolves. The story is a refreshing change from the “big bad wolf” character typically depicted in children’s literature. It provides a realistic, educational perspective about the wonders of nature within an enjoyable tale about an excursion in the woods. The story helps to cultivate a love of the outdoors with colorful illustrations and descriptions of a starry night sky, the breeze through the pine trees, and waves lapping on the shore of the lake. The wolves, hidden deep in the woods, are pictured sleeping, eating, playing and socializing while Nell and Uncle Walter hike to the perfect spot to listen for their howls.

Following the story, the book includes an informational section about timber wolves, their communication styles, and when and where you can howl with the wolves yourself. The author even gives tips on howling pitch, volume, and how long to howl. This section enhances the story by helping young readers understand why Nell and Uncle Walter want to experience the wolves howling and to join in themselves.

The first time we read the book was right before Violet’s bedtime. Not long after, when we thought Violet had gone to sleep, she was heard howling in her room, sounding like one of the pack. We weren’t surprised since Violet said her favorite part of the book is “the part where they howl.” She also said, “I like the book. The pages are cool. It makes me think of what it would be like to be a real wolf.”

Violet’s baby sister, Hazel, gave the book two claps and a squeal. Then she tried to eat it.