When I Met the Wolf Girls
The title of this children’s book caught my eye since my family supports Wolf Park, a local wolf education and research facility located in Battle Ground, Indiana. This delicate story of family and friendship, set in picture-book format, recants the ordeal of two feral sisters discovered in Midnapore, India in the 1920s. The story is told in the perspective of an orphan named Bulu, who meets Amala and Kamala when a Christian missionary brought them to an orphanage after discovering the pair in a termite mound raised by a she-wolf. The sad tale of orphan life is compounded by loss and death as the sisters struggle with their new lives and all that is expected by a civilized society.
This book is a great read aloud, quality time opportunity. I received expert advise on this work from an expert, my 8 year-old neighbor Audrey M., who has written several stories herself. Who better to know a good children’s book than an accomplished young writer? We explored the story together, admiring the illustrations, trying hard to pick just one favorite picture. August Hall’s illustrations treat the eye with bold colors and reveal the story in beautiful pictures as the tale winds through the 40-page book. His acrylic illustrations breathe life into the scenes as Bulu’s story shares the chaos, fear and sadness of the experience.
Audrey agreed the book was very good, and we ended up having our own favorite picture. We discussed the story line, ogled at the photograph of the two sisters taken in the 1920s that the author supplied and read the true story on how the girls were discovered by J.A.L. Singh. This is a great book that created the space for quality time, and Audrey and I enjoyed discussing a good book together.
The author (a.k.a. Deborah Wayshak, editor at Candlewick Press) has published seven books. August Hall is a California based illustrator and has done work for Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar Animation and Dreamworks. He has also written and illustrated another children’s book, Song and Jupiter.