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Timothy Egan

The Wolf Who Loved Music

The Wolf Who Loved Music - Christophe Gallaz, Marshall Arisman Quite provocative. From the book jacket inside flap, "A haunting look at the perils of prejudice", The Wolf Who Loved Music ultimately leaves one feeling plaintive state at the realities of bigotry against certain members of the animal world. The text is supplemented by music notation, which progresses with the story. Anne is a young violinist. One day her mother reads to her the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The version of the story where the wolf eats the girl and her grandmother. Anne didn't believe it. The next day, Anne ventures into the forest with her violin, finds a clearing, sits on a rock and plays and sees a gray shape. She tires and falls asleep and a search is on to find her. She's discovered, having never awakened during the night, surprised, not realizing what had happened. Animal tracks are discovered, and Anne tells of a gray shape she thought she had seen. She remembers the book, and thinks that wolves "must love music".Subsequently, a hunt is on and finally a wolf is sacrificed. Everyone "is quite happy as they patted each other on the shoulders." Pause (a rest symbol from music notation). Anne is now a grown woman. She revisits the forest, finds her rock, and remembers the wolf and its outcome. "What brutes, what sadness, what sweetness, what solitude. She takes out her violin and plays."Too much melancholy for young ones, but an excellent conversation starter for many units on history and how bigotry and prejudice have permeated human history throughout time. Especially poignant though, when considered through the lens of how people have nearly eradicated entire species of animals through prejudice alone. Many opportunities here for analysis of the text in how each party bears responsibility for the outcome and the inherent ramifications of their behavior.