As you all know, we love books. We spend the majority of our time reading together, and we never go on any adventures without at least a handful of books in our bags.
Sometimes we come across a really special book, a book that moves us, changes us, and becomes a part of us.
The Wolf Wilder is one of those books. I need to tell you about it. Read it by yourselves, read it with your older children, but definitely, very much, read it.
The Wolf Wilder is a book that is set "a hundred years ago" in Russia.
Feodora, called Feo, lives with her Mama in a little cabin in the woods. Together they un-tame wolves that are sent to them by aristocrats once they tire of the wolves or the wolves eat a finger or toe that, technically, belonged to someone.
One day, some of the Tsar's soldiers show up at their cabin, and Feo's world changes forever.
I don't want to give away the story, of course, but Feo, desperate to save her mother from the evil and cruel General Rakov, finds an unlikely friend, and, together with her wolves, starts a revolution. The Wolf Wilder is a story of fierce bravery, of friendship, of dreams, hope, and of how it only takes one person to start changing the world.
This book reads like a fairytale, like a classic story that needs to be told. The characters are beautiful, and delicately crafted.
Our favourite quote from the book was: "And I don't know where courage comes from. But I do know that if you can scrape together just a bit, more of it comes without trying."
I started out reading this book to Little, who is ten. Cai, who is six, joined us after the first chapter. There were moments in the book that made him cry, that made all of us cry, but he never once wanted to stop listening. There is death, and there are scary moments, but even those are told in such a captivating way that they weren't too much, even for my gentle boy.
The Wolf Wilder is something so genuinely special. It has joined our list of books that we will keep recommending to friends, giving it for birthdays and holidays.
Share it with the brave people in your life, with stormy girls, revolutionaries, with wild people, and, most importantly, buy a copy for yourself.
After finishing this book, we all felt we wanted more. We wanted a reminder of Feo's bravery. We decided to make a wolf paw print necklace, so we could carry a part of the book with us on the outside, too.
To make your own wolf print necklace,
you will need:
Air drying clay
A paintbrush and a little water
Something round (We picked a tealight.)
Start by rolling a small amount of air drying clay into a smooth ball.
Squash your ball down until it is flat and about half a centimetre thick. We did this on baking paper, as it helps the clay not to stick to table.
Use your round object to cut out a circle shape.
Now gently use your fingers to create a wolf paw print in the clay!
We used the end of a paintbrush to create the smaller prints of the wolf's nails.
If your edges are dry, brush them with some water. Use a pencil or the end of a small paintbrush to poke a hole through the top of your clay disk, so you can attach the cord!
Let your clay pendant dry completely!
When your wolf print is completely dry, carefully pull the cord through the hole in the top.
String the wooden beads onto your string.
Now all you have to do is tie your necklace to the right length and snip off any excess leather! Make sure your necklace fits over your head, as you can't take a bath or shower with it!
You can of course make these for any animal you like, but for my own brave wolf wilders, a wolf print was very much the right choice.
We really love being able to carry a part of this book with us like this, and we know that The Wolf Wilder and Feo will stay with all of us for a very long time, a girl with a braid down to her knees, and two wolves flecked in gold, starting a revolution to save her Mama.