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The Wolf-Birds by Willow Dawson

The Wolf-Birds

by Willow Dawson

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A simple story with beautiful illustrations about life cycles in nature.

This book deals with wolves and ravens, who have a sort of symbiotic relationship, helping each other hunt and survive -- an actual phenomenon. The Wolf-Birds presents a matter-of-fact look at death in nature. With its beautiful illustrations and upfront approach to the story, it shows animal death in an unupsetting way. Predation in nature -- which is often overdramatized and presented emotionally in other sources like documentaries -- is shown here as a necessity and maybe even positive thing.

Overall, a this is a beautiful book, a look at a fascinating relationship in nature, and a wonderful introduction to animal survival. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
This a great book for introducing various concepts related to the food chain: mutualism, predation, klepto-parasitism, carnivores, omnivores, and the cycle of life. Perhaps not the best book to send a child off to their dreams as it does deal with the death of a couple of animals. ( )
  manamakeri | Nov 10, 2017 |
An admirable introduction to predator-prey relationships and death in the wild world for children. Though not graphic, Dawson doesn't sugar-coat death due to hunting injuries or the kill. Her manga-like illustrations are not as visceral as photographs or more realistic art, so may help sensitive children accept this necessary part of the life cycle. We all kill to eat, if in different ways. Even vegetarians kill live plants for sustenance. Dawson's language is spare, but lyrical. I like how she opens and closes with similar words. Her first sentence is: "Deep in the wild winter wood, when the snow falls and the icy wind blows, two hungry ravens huddle in wait for their next meal." After both wolves and ravens are fed, she concludes with: "Deep in the wild winter wood, where the wolves and ravens hunt, the starving wait for Spring's return has finally come to an end." If read aloud, children can imitate the "Kaw" of the ravens and the "Arooo" of the wolves to participate in the story. In some pictures, dashed lines indicate a raven's flight path. Before explaining this to children, ask them what they think the lines mean. It would also be good to emphasize the fact that wolves often take prey that is injured and/or starving: ""Between aspen trunks stripped cold ad bare, a starving deer favors an injured leg." Finally, the deer's "... life helps many others live" as the wolves and ravens feed themselves and their pups and chicks. An Author's Note and Sources provide further information and emphasize how we can "celebrate the clever ways in which wolves and ravens thrive throughout the long, deadly winter" as well as "the cycle of life." ( )
  bookwren | Dec 28, 2015 |
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For my little Wolf cub, whose long winter slumber inside of me helped inspire this story.
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Deep in the wild winter wood, when the snow falls and the icy winds blow, two hungry ravens huddle in wait for their next meal.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"In a story set deep in the wild winter wood, two hungry ravens fly in search of their next meal. A pack of wolves is on the hunt, too. Food is scarce, but, if they team up, the ravens and wolves just might be able to help each other. The ravens follow a pack of starving wolves on the hunt. The wolves come up empty handed and even lose one of their own in the chase but the ravens have better luck. The wolves hear the ravens cawing and investigate only to find an injured deer, the perfect meal! The wolves make the kill; the opportunistic ravens benefit, feasting alongside and after the wolves."--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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