From Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs

illus. by Hudson Talbott. 40p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399254048.
PreS-Gr 2—Through charming illustrations and minimal text, Talbott tells the story of how ancient wolves evolved into the dogs we know today. Young readers will love the nonverbal clarity of the image of a little orphan boy hiding in the shrubs watching a wolf pack run and the lonely cub trying to find his way back into the fold. The cute factor is a little over-the-top at times: the cub tries to howl, "Boy" as the pair find their way to friendship and teamwork and begin to build their own group of outcasts. This very simple interpretation, in which the boy and cub do even better than human or wolf packs, certainly has appeal but will not be useful to report writers or older readers. The closing pages show the progressive domestication of dogs from wolves to the pets that live in our homes, in all the diversity we know.
VERDICT This big story in a small package hews close to current scientific understanding and is likely to be popular in most libraries, though it will be of limited value to those doing schoolwork.

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