I have not been this excited about a book in a long time, and I am highly recommending Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem to anyone wanting to learn more about how nature works with balance. This book is written by Jude Isabella and wonderfully illustrated by Kim Smith. This book is written for children ages 8 – 12 years, but I think this book can make a difference to even adult readers.
It tells the story of Yellowstone National Park and how one animal can make a huge difference in an ecosystem. In the 1800’s the American government paid hunters to eliminate threats to livestock on ranches near the park. By 1926 every gray wolf pack was gone from Yellowstone. Once the wolves were gone, many changes were seen in the park, plants, animals, even how the streams worked were all affected by the absence of the wolves.
In 1995 the government reintroduced the gray wolves back into Yellowstone National Park as a way to reverse the course that these changes had done. Over time, Yellowstone has started to stabilize again, and we are seeing a healthy ecosystem once again starting to flourish.
Bringing Back The Wolves Science told through words and pictures
This book does an amazing job of making the science easy to understand. For example, there is a graphic on the Yellowstone Food Web and it’s amazing to see how so many things are connected in this web. When the wolves were removed, the prey animals (such as the elk) grew in population because they didn’t have the predator danger. So they started eating trees and new plants because there were outgrowing their food supply. This changed the landscape of Yellowstone.
Then this book explained that even the sounds of Yellowstone had changed. With huge herds of elk and the absence of howling, bird songs and even the sounds like sounds of the water running because now instead of meandering brooks that used to be shallow, the streams had become deep an straight due to the changes in the ecosystem. These are things that we might not think about, but this book teaches the reader so many things. These are just 2 examples from this story, but you will learn a lot more about the ecosystem and how it interacts with one another.
Whether you know someone that dreams of becoming a scientist or naturalist, or a child that loves a story about how good can come back in the world, Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem will be a great fit for a wide variety of readers. Learning that we can make a difference, and enjoying the exploration of the why behind the world that we live in, and all share.
Disclosure: Thank you to Kids Can Press for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.