nonfiction nuggets…wanted: one wolf family

Family Pack, by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Alan Marks

About a century ago, those in charge of Yellowstone National Park decreed that the wolves must go.  They weren’t good for tourism,  preying as they did on the animals tourists wanted to see.  By the 1920s, the last of the Yellowstone wolves was gone.

To read about the devastation this caused on the park’s ecosystems, read the book  When the Wolves Returned — Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent which I’ve reviewed here.  The upshot is that scientists made an about-face, and  successfully reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone in the past 15 years, to the benefit of species from cottonwood trees to trout to eagles.

This book, Family Pack,  is the story of two wolves who were among the first to be brought to Yellowstone from Canada.  The young female in our story, known to researchers as Female 7, spent her first year in this vast wilderness on her own, which is not how a wolf likes to live.  Wolves are pack animals.  This gal hunted and howled and slept and prowled on her own, until finally, happily, somewhere in the midst of over 2 million acres of park, she met Male 2.  Apparently, it was love at first sight.

These two wolves and their pups created the first naturally-formed pack in the new Yellowstone wolf population.  You can follow the simple, interesting account of their hunting and howling and pup-rearing practices in Sandra Markle’s excellent book.   Alan Marks’ beautiful, arresting watercolors sweep us into the snowy Yellowstone forests, and give us tantalizing glimpses of the elusive, fascinating world of the gray wolf.   Crisp writing, easily accessible to ages 5 and up, this will interest much older readers as well.  An Author’s Note, list of further resources, and awesome gray wolf facts are all included.

Here’s the Amazon link: Family Pack