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Old Wolf

Review

Old Wolf

written by Avi with illustrations by Brian Floca

In OLD WOLF, Nashoba is an old wolf leader who is unwilling to admit that his hunting instincts are way past their prime. Nonetheless, Nashoba and his pack are starving and he has no choice except to scout for food. Merla, a starving yet equally old (and conceited) raven, strikes a deal with Nashoba to locate food, but things aren’t going according to plan. Concurrently, Casey Seton receives a bow and arrow for his 13thbirthday, and he is eager to them try out. He never imagined, though, that his first attempt will lead him face to face with none other than a wounded wolf.

OLD WOLF is one book that will not only appeal to animal book lovers, but will also build a healthy respect for wildlife.

Award-winning Brooklyn artists Avi and Brian Floca, the author and illustrator, collaborated to create this thought-provoking animal tale. A key feature of Avi's latest story --- like all of his amazing animal books --- is how he applies human-like emotions to wildlife characters while keeping their distinctive animal traits intact. Great examples include Nashoba, whose pride as a pack leader gets in the way of the mere fact that he is aging, and Merla's egotistical attitude even though she's no spring chicken herself. Then, Avi then brings these two cantankerous animals together on a journey of survival, and amid their gruff personas, Nashoba and Merla become friends.

Avi zeroes in on Nashoba’s and Merla's viewpoints on humans in the first few chapters, followed by a sudden shift into a human’s (Casey’s) viewpoints on wildlife. He develops his narrative by building tension between the two animals, eventually adding suspense when Casey comes in contact with them. Of course, the perfect complement to Avi's storyline is Floca's realistic rustic renditions. Floca's impeccably detailed pencil illustrations breathe life into Avi's characters, who offer profound mental imagery for young readers.

Without giving much of the plot away, OLD WOLF is one book that will not only appeal to animal book lovers, but will also build a healthy respect for wildlife.

Reviewed by Anita Lock on August 11, 2015

Old Wolf
written by Avi with illustrations by Brian Floca

  • Publication Date: August 2, 2016
  • Genres: Children's, Environment
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1442499222
  • ISBN-13: 9781442499225