The Wolves of Currumpaw – William Grill
For sure, it is gorgeous. It is a big, oversized hardback with a lovely tactile cover. The illustrations, throughout, are fabulous, full of earthy colours and linestrokes and raw heart. There are plenty of full page pictures that just hold you in their space. It is definitely the illustrations that give this book its music.
The text, for me, was less immersive. It is non-fiction and its tone is matter of fact but I was a little dismissive of it. And then, something happens in the story, and I got annoyed with the text. And then, there’s a picture and then some text and then I cried, and suddenly I was all ears. Clever.
The Wolves of Currumpaw is set in nineteenth century, New Mexico. It lovingly tells the story of Lobo, a notorious grey wolf, and of Ernest Thompson Seton. It’s a story about change and how America’s wildlife conservation was started. Plus, it has a wonderful glossary giving both the word and its meaning for the images that repeatedly appear through the book. One of the most interesting glossaries I’ve seen in a long time (although, picture books aren’t something I’ve looked at for a while).
The book completely won me over. The Wolves of Currumpaw is a great big non-fiction triumph.
The Wolves of Currumpaw is nominated for both the 2017 Carnegie Medal and its sister award for illustrated books, the Kate Greenaway Medal.
Publication details: Flying Eye Books, 2016, London, hardback
This copy: for review from the publisher