Wild Wolf

Wild Wolf
Fiona French
Otter Barry Books

The inspiration for Greenaway medal winner, Fiona French’s Wild Wolf story was an Algonquin folktale called ‘Moowis’. However, a sighting in the Rocky Mountains of a single black wolf by the author some ten years back inspired her to write a different ending from the original folktale’s sad conclusion.

It’s a story of pride and its consequences for Proud Girl and Bravest Warrior. There’s rejection, anger, revenge,

love,

remorse, forgiveness and the life saving action of the wise guardian spirit narrator Wild Wolf.

Finally though, it’s love that wins out.

The bright artwork executed in oil crayons, with added graphite and coloured pencil detail, is arresting and stunningly beautiful. Fiona’s illustrations are inspirited by First Nation costume, quillwork, embroidery and beadwork of the Algonquin people of Canada and North West USA. Every single spread is a visual feast; what a wise choice of the publishers to use matt paper for the pages. (Make sure you check out the gorgeous patterned endpapers.)

This wonderful book is rich in potential for classroom use and I have no doubt many readers, either at home or in school, will be reaching for oil pastels/crayons to experiment with their own designs after studying the art herein.

(A donation from sales of the book will go to the Katarokwi Grandmothers’ Council of Kingston, Ontario.)