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Wolf Island Paperback – November 21, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–4—Although the text remains unchanged from the 1993 edition (Freeman), larger page size and improved formatting make the story easier to share with groups. Instead of fading into the illustrations, the text blocks are highlighted and framed. The pictures themselves are brighter and more sharply focused versions of the originals. Pages are fewer in number, necessitating some shifts of text and the elimination of a few images. Overall, the revisions add to the book's visual appeal. The story follows changes that occur on an island after the departure of a family of wolves to the mainland. Without predators, the deer population swells. The deer eat so much vegetation that rabbits and mice have fewer babies, resulting in less food for foxes and owls. After the wolves return in winter by crossing the ice, the relationships among the various species begin to be restored. Godkin's simple example of how easily the natural balance can be upset should help foster ecological awareness. Libraries without the original book should definitely consider purchasing this one, and collections with an older copy may want to substitute this more readable version.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The food chain, especially its harsher aspects, can be difficult to explain to young children, but this gentle narrative conveys the realism without mawkish sentimentality. Based on an actual event, this account tracks a family of Canadian wolves living on an island. Discovering a raft that washed ashore, the wolf pups climb aboard. When the raft suddenly begins to drift toward the mainland, the surprised pups' cries bring the parents to the raft, and together the family floats away from its home.^B The wolves' absence from the island causes the deer to multiply, which affects the food chain and endangers other island species. The habitat is only restored by the accidental return of the wolves. With a large format, arresting cover, and beautiful soft-edged illustrations, this presentation offers an effective balance between a documentary and a nature story. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 1 - Kindergarten
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside (November 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554550084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554550081
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a simple retelling of the story of Isle Royal, an island that was brought back into ecological balance when a wolf pack crossed over an ice bridge to the island. Before that time the vegetation was being denuded by moose, and the moose herd was suffering. The island was the living laboratory for some of the classic research on the relationship between predators and their prey, and the role of predators in an ecosystem. It also relates to another classic essay by Aldo Leopold, called "Thinking Like A Mountain." again, about wolves and their relationship to their prey and to the ecosystem as a whole. These concepts are important to teach young children, but the research and essay above would be hard for young kids to understand. This book serves as an excellent introduction to the topic. There are few books out there that tackle this important subject, this book fills the niche.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I use this book to teach elementary science concepts such as interdependence in ecosystems and the causes and effects of change. It's a well-told story and the illustrations are engaging. It's a wonderful addition to life-science resources.
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Format: Paperback
As a teacher who enjoys combining literature and science, this is one of my favorite books to read to children.
Everything on the island appears to be in balance until the wolf cubs discover a raft on the beach. As they explore, the raft drifts off and their parents are forced to follow. With the wolves gone there are now no natural predators to keep down the deer population, which threatens the whole island ecosystem. Can life on the island ever be the same?
This short story is beautifully written and illustrated by Celia Godkin.
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Format: Paperback
As an elementary classroom teacher for many years, I have used this book in various grade levels to reinforce the need for balance of predator/prey within an ecoystem, and the impact on the ecosystem when one piece is removed. It gets even better when that piece is restored, and the ecosystem begins to recover. A related book, using a kelp ecosystem is Sea Otter Inlet, also by Celia Godkin.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book to do a compare/contrast of the St. Matthew's island case study. I like that it is thorough but not too long to complete in a limited class period.
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