CM December 22, 
1995. Vol. II, Number 10-11

image Through Wolf Eyes: The Story of a Gray Wolf

Falmouth, NS: Needham Gate Productions Limited, 1995. VHS, 33 minutes.
Video (plus 1 activity booklet) $29.95.
Classroom pack of 30 activity booklets $30.00.
Family pack of 5 activity booklets $5.00.
Available from: Rising Tide Communications
Box 105, Falmouth, NS, B0P 1L0.
Ph (902) 798-8777, fax (902) 798-5766.

Subject Heading:
Wolves-Juvenile films.

Grades 4 - 6 / Ages 9 - 11.
Review group led by Brian Rountree.

`Hank' Halliday, of Wolf Awareness Inc., is our guide at the start and end of this `autobiography' of the gray wolf, Lucas, from his birth until he is fourteen years old. There are two places during the video to stop and do the activities in the accompanying booklet.

Through Wolf Eyes addresses the negative image of the gray wolf portrayed in myth, legend and folk-tales. It is loaded with facts and could form a good jump-off point for further research into wolves. Surely the whole story of the pack society is not told here! Through Wolf Eyes could lead to a study of the wolf's place in the ecosystem and help to eliminate the negative connotation of the word `predator.'


The photography is excellent and gives the viewer a real sense of the wolf's habitat from the intimate space of the birthing chamber to the larger forest. The narration is clear. The audio and video are well matched throughout. One wonders though, why paintings were used for some episodes: one viewer commented that some parts of the story looked staged -- perhaps the paintings could have been replaced with such work. Someone looking closely would also have noticed that some scenes, such as scent marking, were duplicated.

Although the narrator warns against applying human morals to wolves, we find the story does give human qualities and characteristics to Lucas, who is "quoted" as saying that his arthritis is slowing him down. Another concern for one viewer was the use of words such as "solicitous" and "domain" which young children will not understand.

One viewer recommended the film in these terms -- "It is a good learning tool for children studying science/biology as it comments on the life cycle from birth to old age, with all the conditions to face throughout. It can also suggest comparisons to what they will do throughout their lives -- birth (dependency), youth (vigour; fun; learning), maturity (responsibility; provision; survival; sex), aging (become weaker; earn respect; play with grandchildren)."

Through Wolf Eyes could be used in many areas of the curriculum. It would also interest non-school viewers such as the Boy Scouts or those interested in nature studies.


Brian Rountree is a Teacher-Librarian in Thompson, Manitoba. He was assisted in this review by the students in his evening class on "Educational Media and Technology."

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Copyright © 1995 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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