Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eye of the Wolf

Eye of the Wolf

Daniel Pennac
Illustrator:  Max Grafe 
For ages 12 and up
Candlewick Press, 2003   ISBN: 978-0763618964

One day Blue Wolf sees a boy looking at him though the bars of his cage. The wolf is in a zoo and does not care much about life. His companion of many years has died and he is alone. Day after day the wolf finds the boy there, looking at him. Finally, the boy and the wolf share their lives. Looking into each other?s eyes they see all that has happened to the other for as long as they have had memories.

In a prose that is close to poetry the author tells the story of the wolf, Blue Wolf, and the boy, Africa. We learn about the hardships they have endured and the losses they have had to suffer. We also learn about the ways in which humans are destroying this world, stealing its beautiful places from the animals and taking the animals away to put them in zoos.

The environmental message is subtle and a warning to us all. We need to listen; we need to see the beautiful places that Blue Wolf and Africa have explored. Finally, the stories are over and both the wolf and the boy are no longer alone. In sharing their stories they have become companions. A very powerful story beautifully illustrated by Max Grafe.