Review : The Wolves Return


In 1995-96 twenty-three grey wolves were released in Yellowstone National Park where, due to over-hunting, there had been no wolves at all for almost seventy years. This reintroduction project was an overwhelming success. Over twenty years later we can still see the changes the grey wolves brought to Yellowstone National Park. Now that the elk graze higher ground, seedlings are growing tall, rivers are getting deeper as beavers return, and a lively pond ecosystem is developing. This true story offers an important lesson about the difference one creature can make in creating a healthy, thriving world. Acclaimed environmental author and illustrator Celia Godkin delivers an inspiring, feel-good environmental story that is the perfect follow up to her most recent nonfiction picture book, Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World, a Bank Street Best Book that was also shortlisted for several awards. The Wolves Return features Godkin’s evocative, full-spread pencil crayon and watercolour illustrations and is further enhanced by extensive information on the Yellowstone Wolf Project, including maps and statistics that will fascinate young animal lovers and inquisitive minds.


I had never heard of the Yellowstone Wolf Project prior to picking up this book, and wow, what a fascinating story, and a powerful reaffirmation of the truth that all living things are connected. Asย The Wolves Return beautifully shows, when a species is removed from its environment, the repercussions can be far more extensive, and impact far more creatures, than we could ever imagine.


Author/illustrator Celia Godkin takes readers on a tour of Yellowstone National Park, showcasing the different ways in which the return of the wolves has reshaped the environment. The book finishes with a very good overview of the history of Yellowstone’s wolves, as well as a personal call to action from activist and wildlife champion Godkin.


The Wolves Return is both a warning and a message of hope to young readers – your actions can have far-reaching consequences, but it’s not too late. The environment is in a terrible state, but there’s still hope for the future, if we act now. Perhaps more than ever we need to instil in young readers a real love, respect and appreciation for the natural world around us, andย The Wolves Return is a great tool to help that happen.

The Wolves Return

Hardcover, 32 pages
March 23, 2017: Pajama Press
Source: Goodreads Giveaway

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  • Reply lindabaie

    Oh, thank you for sharing this book, Jane. It looks wonderful. I have been to Yellowstone twice with my students, once with family. My students and I saw a band of those very wolves one evening. We were guided to a good spot by a ranger, sat and waited and waited, and there they were! Yellowstone is a magical place. Happy New Year, full of wonderful books coming!

    January 3, 2018 at 5:20 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      What a breathtaking experience! I visited Yellowstone briefly as part of a road trip through the American west years ago, and it was just spectacular. What a treasure for future generations. You Americans sure do come up with some pretty spectacular ideas sometimes, like national parks. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

      January 9, 2018 at 7:42 am
  • Reply Earl @ The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer

    I’ve been seeing lots of Pajama Press titles recently. Although I don’t think I’ve heard of them before.

    January 3, 2018 at 5:45 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      They’re Canadian! Oh, Canada! ๐Ÿ™‚

      January 3, 2018 at 5:48 pm
  • Reply annettepimentel

    Beautiful art. Thanks for sharing.

    January 3, 2018 at 11:21 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      You’re very welcome! I love books that show that nonfiction picture books can be just as beautifully illustrated as their fiction counterparts.

      January 9, 2018 at 7:40 am
  • Reply Michele

    I need to find this book. It would be a good companion to Jean Craighead George’s The Wolves Came Back.

    January 7, 2018 at 2:16 am
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