The Wolves by Brian J. Heinz: A Children's Book Review

This Hub is dedicated to my oldest Granddaughter: Wolf Girl, aka Olivia.

For the older child, age eight and up, the picture book: Wolves is a realistic read written by author Brian J. Heinz.  Mr. Heinz was previously an elementary science teacher.  His love for wildlife and, “…special warmth for the wolf”, resonated with me as I explored the book.  He is a kindred spirit of Wolf Girl, my granddaughter.

Part of the book’s appeal is its stunning watercolor paintings by award winning artist, Bernie Fuchs.  Fuchs has received over 100 awards for his paintings, and is a member of the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. 

Wolves

Wolves is no ordinary children’s book, nor is it necessarily the right book for a younger child, due to the wolves predatory behavior with an elk herd, illustrated with both words and paintings. However, what Heinz succeeds to do is to present the wolf in its natural habitat exhibiting its ordinary behavior.

The wolves in this story are not vicious, ill intended animals that mercilessly kill. In writing this story Mr. Heinz attempts to teach his audience that we must accept nature as she is, and the struggle for survival in all wildlife creatures is one that is becoming exceedingly difficult as man changes the perimeters of their home. This is beautifully explained in the note to the reader by the author in the beginning of the book.

As Mr. Heinz writes, “To save these magnificent animals will take more than repopulation programs, for the real enemy of the wolf is ignorance. By learning more about the true nature of wolves and wiping away the myths that many people still hold in their minds, a new picture of the wolf can emerge.”

The sound of wolves

The April Hubchallenge: Hub #18 of 30
The April Hubchallenge: Hub #18 of 30 | Source

Pahtoo, Leader of the Pack

The storyline of Wolves is about Pahtoo, the leader of his pack, and his obligation to find food for them in order to survive. It is winter, and they have not eaten in three days. However, they have persistently followed the trail of an elk herd and, with stealth and skill, will wait for the opportunity to weed out a weak elk.

Heinz’s words flow in poetic description across water painted pages. “The mountains ache with a deep chill, and their rugged shoulders huddle over the valley below. A gray cloud creeps over the peaks and rolls slowly, hugging the ground, down the slopes…it carries a thousand tons of snow. And it carries the wolves.”

It is the beauty of the descriptive words, which enhances the subtle colors of the pictures, that brings to life this story. Initially, I brought it home from the library to use as a reference. In the end, it captured not only my attention, but my heart, and a decision to add this book to Wolf Girl’s growing collection was made.

My hope is to bring attention to the beauty of this book and entice parents and teachers to bring it into their homes and classrooms. I’ve included a favorite song of mine by Cheryl Wheeler.

Howl at the Moon

More by this Author


Comments 10 comments

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man

I found a reference to this hub in a comment you made recently on a hub written by phdast7 and that piqued my interest. It took me a while to find it but am I glad I took the time to do so. As a result of reading this hub I will definitely be buying this book for the family. Ignorance is mankind's greatest sin and even Christ's last words were asking that we be forgiven because of our ignorance. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Thank you Denise I will be sharing this hub.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

What a lovelt surprise this morning, Spirit Whisperer! I did read you comment before the one I made to phdast7, but certainly did not expect this. Thank you for sharing this hub and for your wise comments. :) Blessings to you and your family this New Year.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Greetings Mrs. Handlon,

I came-by on the advice of Mr. Spirit Whisperer.

Thank You for this piece of writing - the Wolf Spirit appreciates it.

Think of the White Wolf Spirit in times of trouble, He's always around and willing to help those in need.

When I read: "A gray cloud creeps over the peaks and rolls slowly, hugging the ground, down the slopes…it carries a thousand tons of snow. And it carries the wolves”, I had to smile. I have asked the Fog to keep my trail/footsteps hidden before and It did. I am grateful for It.

Many, many thanks for the write. Cheers!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you, Mr. Happy, for following the advice and reading this hub-and for your lovely comments. I appreciate it.

I'm especially grateful for Spirit Whisperer for sharing this hub in the ways that he has.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

(lol Just between You and I: Mr. Spirit Whisperer is a rare Spirit and a great person, in my opinion!)

Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

As much as I have observed about Spirit Whisperer, I concur.


jane916 4 years ago

Do you know of any books out there for toddlers who have a passion for wolves, the real ones, not the fairy tale ones. My grandson is not quite 3 and still does better with board books. Can anyone make a recommendation or tell me where I might look?


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello Jane916-Thank you for taking a peek at this article. I'm sorry I don't know of any board books, however, if it were my toddler I would buy a Wolf calendar or two and either have him look at this, either with or without it being mounted on some simple poster board to keep it sturdy. You can actually laminate it after putting it on the poster board and there are probably the mini calendars that can be found for ease of handling. In other words-if you can't find it - create it. Best to you and your grandson.


jane916 4 years ago

Thank you, Denise. A very good idea.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

You're welcome, Jane. Glad to have helped. I was just thinking of this again, this morning. I hope it turns out to be a special booklet for him.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working