Maple loves being the Parker’s family dog, but she continues to encounter people who think she must be a wolf. She always thought of herself as a dog, but she starts to question her identity as a dog and tries being a wolf for a day to see if it fits. After failing at her wolf activities in the wild, she realizes she isn’t a wolf at all and returns to her life with the Parkers more confident about who she is.
Lone Wolf by Sarah Kurpiel is an empowering story about discovering yourself and not letting others define you. Children may be able to map their own experiences of not quite fitting into the definitions or expectations of others onto Maple’s experience of repeatedly being told she must be a wolf and may be inspired by her self-discovery to feel more confident in being themselves and finding their ‘pack’. With only a few sentences on each page and a nice cadence, the story lends itself to reading aloud quite well. The illustrations are charming and make use of dotted lines to show movement and bring extra energy to the story. They are large enough to be seen from a distance, but there are also plenty of details to be enjoyed close-up. Avery, one of the children in the Parker family, is illustrated to use a power wheelchair and is a nice addition to help normalize disability for children.
About the Author-Illustrator
Sarah Kurpiel is a librarian and artist living in Illinois. She uses a power wheelchair and considers her disability to be an important part of her identity.
May 19 – It’s National Pet Month and Interview with Sarah Kurpiel – Celebrate Picture Books
Title: Lone Wolf
Author-Illustrator: Sarah Kurpiel
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Year Published: 2020