CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 11. . . .November 13, 2015
Children in Early Years learn about the characteristics and needs of living things. Willow Dawson’s The Wolf-Birds demonstrates the ways in which wolves and ravens interact with each other. This book, set in the wild winter woods, gives readers a glimpse into the natural world and the fascinating relationship that exists between the two species. Ravens earned their title as wolf-birds due to their social attachment with wolves. Given their aerial vantage point, ravens often call wolves down on prey. The ravens then benefit by having the pickings leftover after the wolves have eaten their fill.
The lyrical word choices soften the harsh nature of the story, though the illustrations show the reality of the hunt. The artwork was created using acrylic-on-board paintings. The paintings are reminiscent of well-known Canadian artist Ted Harrison. The bold and bright palette is Harrison’s, as are the broad brush strokes and swirling, rounded shapes. Dawson’s use of colour deliberately reflects the events transpiring in the story. On the pages where the predators capture their prey, red is featured as the dominant background colour whereas the background colours of the other pages mainly reflect snow white and clear skies.
Andrea Boyd is a student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. She enjoys reading children’s literature and travelling around the globe.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.