When I Met the Wolf Girls
Publication Date: May 2007
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Two little girlsraised by wolveshave just arrived at the orphanage, and life will never be the same.
Based on a true story, this book is about many things at once: family, friendship, and what it means to have a home.
Deborah Noyes writes for children and adults and is a photographer, editor, and former zookeeper. To learn more about her books and photography, and for playlists of her favorite music, visit hauntedplaylist.blogspot.com. Ms. Noyes lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
The story of Amala and Kamala, feral girls found in India in 1920 in, the account goes, a wolf's den, is an enduringly fascinating one. . . . There's a thematically appropriate echo of Henri Rousseau in the depiction of the tenuous boundary between the wild and the domestic.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Noyes tells the story in free verse through the fictionalized viewpoint of one of the other children in the orphanage, a girl named Bulu. Hall's stylized acrylic illustrations show the feral children eating on their knees, licking their plates like dogs, loping on all fours, and snarling at Bulu's attempts at friendliness. . . As Noyes points out, the story probably inspired Kipling's classic Mowgli books.
Hall's luminous acrylic illustrations are varied in tone, from the deep browns of the girls' skin to the gold of the village scenes to the vibrant purples and greens of the jungle. Especially notable is one wordless double-page spread in which the jungle animals watch a fireworks display with the same expressions of wonderment--and sometimes trepidation--as the humans on the previous page. Small touches of humor that come through elsewhere in the art prevent the book from becoming overly heavy. . . . What will most captivate young readers is the book's unique presentation of the familiar themes of friendship and family.
In lively prose that begs to be read aloud, the author brings to life a vanished imperial world of missionaries, orphanages and shadowy jungle.