Review of Bringing Back the Wolves

An amazing children’s book about how the removal of a predator can affect everything in an ecosysterm. Adults can learn from this book too! 🐺

Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem

by Jude Isabella (Author), Kim Smith (Illustrator)

March 3, 2020

Kids Can Press

Blurb: An unintended experiment in Yellowstone National Park, in which an ecosystem is devastated and then remarkably rehabilitated, provides crucial lessons about nature’s intricate balancing act.

In the 1800s, hunters were paid by the American government to eliminate threats to livestock on cattle ranches near Yellowstone National Park. They did such a good job that, by 1926, no gray wolf packs were left in the park. Over the following decades, virtually every other part of the park’s ecosystem was affected by the loss of the wolves — from the animals who were their prey, to the plants that were the food for that prey, to the streams that were sheltered by those plants — and the landscape was in distress. So, starting in 1995, in an attempt to reverse course, the government reintroduced gray wolves to the park. Over time, animal populations stabilized, waterways were restored and a healthy ecosystem was recreated across the land. It’s a striking transformation, and a fascinating tale of life’s complicated interdependencies.

Jude Isabella’s thoroughly researched, expert-reviewed text and Kim Smith’s beautiful nature art bring science to life in this captivating story of renewal. Readers will recognize just how complex an ecosystem is and learn about the surprising interconnectedness of its members. Biodiversity, ecosystems, the food chain, habitats, needs of living things and the importance of human stewardship of the environment are all covered through this real-life example, offering direct links to earth and life science curriculums. Food web infographics help reinforce the information. A glossary and index add to the book’s usefulness.

Buy Links:

Amazon | IndieBound

Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem by Jude Isabella is an amazing children’s book that explains the impact of what one creature can do to an ecosystem. In this case, the impact was observed when wolves were brought back to Yellowstone National Park.

Isabella shows how every creature from the mightiest grizzly bear to the lowliest beetle were affected in a positive way by the reintroduction of wolves, not to mention how trees, shrubs, and even creekbeds were restored.

When you come down to it, one creature affects so many things. It’s mind-boggling to see it mapped out. It’s also enlightening because we human beings are frequently the creatures who are trying to mold the environment to fit us, ignorant to the fact that nature has a plan that actually works and always has.

By using illustrations and key words, Isabella shows how Yellowstone was impacted by wolves, how it began to thrive again once natural order was regained.

This is an important book for any child who wants to know more about the natural world, which is so very important at this point in time when nature is ignored and taken for granted.

If you have a child who wants to know more about nature and how ecosystems work, I heartily recommend Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem. You might also read it so that you can be as amazed as I was by all of the interactions.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



5 out of 5 butterflies

2 thoughts on “Review of Bringing Back the Wolves

  1. PBS did a Nature episode on this and it was fascinating! Just goes to show (and what many have always known) that left alone, Nature handles everything perfectly. Man is the screw-up. Thanks for hosting this book.

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