A Friend for Lakota
Authors: Jim and Jamie Dutcher
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Genre: Narrative Nonfiction
Review copy: Final copy provided by publisher
Availability: On shelves now
Summary from Publisher: The sweet tale of Lakota, the shy wolf pup, is sure to touch the heart of any animal lover. Readers will marvel at Lakota's strength growing up as the lowest-ranking and frequently picked-on member of a wolf pack until he finally finds that supportive and nurturing friend he's always wanted. The book also introduces young readers to the need for conservation awareness: through Lakota's life story, readers will come to understand the many challenges faced by wolves in the wild today.
My Thoughts: This book is filled with wonderful photographs of a wolf pack and their day-to-day interactions. I understand that they were trying to create a story line that shows how to stand up to a bully and not be a bystander. It seemed a little awkward. Yes, wolves are a social crew like people, but they aren't people. It's not exactly a mirror of human behavior. It mostly works, but it seems a little forced to push the topic of bullying in there. It doesn't ruin the book, but it could have just been a story of companions/friendship.
Children will likely enjoy the close-up photos of these beautiful animals. The text is a moderate length.
The back matter explains about the study that the authors were doing and how they did it over a span of six years. They also provide plenty of resources for learning about wolves and bullying.
They also explain the origin of the name Lakota and some of the Lakota Sioux design elements that they used to decorate the pages.
Like most National Geographic Kids books, the photographs are amazing. This would be an additional purchase for me though.