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First published in 1972, Small Wolf
was reissued with full color illustrations in 1994

Best Children's Books for Spring '72 (SLJ)

Children's Books of '72 (Library of Congress)



"Although this fictional story is about Manhattan, Small Wolf and his father could be any of the American Indians who were displaced from their homes and hunting grounds by the white men. The Canarse Indians, who "sold" Manhattan to the Dutch, had no more right to the land than anyone else - they lived in the Brooklyn area - and to them the idea of owning land made no more sense than owning the sky or the sea, They were happy to take the money the Dutch offered, and it wasn't until too late that they realized the white men's ideas about property were different from their own. This story was repeated, time after dismal time, until the Indians had nothing left." from Nathaniel Benchley's Author's Note



(starred) Small Wolf and his family live a peaceful life until white men are discovered on Manhattan. Told without sentimentality, pathos, or corny Indian talk, this is an eventful story and an important presentation of the Indian's point of view. The easy-to-read text and somewhat sylized illustrations provide a good read and stimulate questions for elementary age readers.

School Library Journal

Except for quoted reviews, all text and art copyright © Joan Sandin. All rights reserved.
No text or image may be reproduced without the express written consent of the author/illustrator.