One Wolf Howls

Publishers Weekly - February 2009

In this counting/calendar book dedicated to dogs’ distant cousins, debut picture book author Cohn along with Detwiler (The First Teddy Bear) concentrate on personality and ambience, reserving facts and insights for a closing instructional guide. Cohn makes use of rhyming couplets, with a structured, repeating form that emphasizes the progressing months and increasing numbers. In February, two wolves enjoy a snowy frolic “deep in the woods where the harsh winds blow”; May brings the birth of five “fuzzy pups, funny pups” who “sniff and stare”; and September finds a pack of nine putting their natural camouflage to use among the brilliant foliage (and giving readers an opportunity to pick them out). Detwiler invokes just the right amount of romanticism: her wolves tussle in the purple rays of a frigid sunrise and dance, silhouetted, in the falling shadows of twilight—but they’re always unmistakably wild. Readers should be captivated by the animals’ resilient joie de vivre as well as by their habitats’ seasonal glories. The educational guide offers wolf facts, activities and details about their life cycle.

School Library Journal - June 2009

A year in the life of wolves is told through verse in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Readers and listeners will be completely engaged in the rhythm of the poetry, which conveys the movement and habits of wolves. “Five wolves peek at a bright May sunbeam–/fuzzy pups, funny pups, sniff and stare./Five wolves peek at a bright May sunbeam/deep in the woods in the fresh spring air.” Realistic art shows their movements, both active and sedentary. Young listeners will be able to complete rhyming sentences as the book is read and understand the use of alliteration. Useful for counting, as well as learning about the animals, seasons of the year, and poetry, this book may be enjoyed by beginning readers as well as researchers. “Wolf Fun Facts,” “Wolf Life Cycle,” “Wolf Calendar Activity,” information about hunting and endangered wolves, and a Web site with reproducible activities are included. Students will want to read Jean Craighead George’s The Wolves Are Back (Dutton, 2008) and Gail Gibbons’s Wolves (Holiday House, 1994) for additional material.
Nancy Baumann, Indian Paintbrush Elementary, Laramie, WY

Booklist - February 2009

Arranged as a counting book that begins with a single wolf in January and adds one more for each month of the year, this nonfiction picture book presents verse and paintings set in a forest. On each double-page spread, a rhymed quatrain indicates the month of the year, the number of wolves, and what they are doing,

while a vivid, realistic painting illustrates the weather as well as the place and the wolves’ activities. Using lighting and seasonal cues skillfully, Detwiler achieves more variety than might be expected. The concept of adding one wolf each month doesn’t create a believable narrative thread, but there’s plenty to engage children in the individual scenes of woods and wolves. An appended section offers two illustrated activities as well as information about the life cycle, hunting behavior, and endangered status of wolves.
- Carolyn Phelan

Picture Books and Pirouettes - February 2013

One Wolf Howls, written by Scotti Cohn and illustrated by Maryland's own Susan Detwiler, was published by Arbordale in 2011. Written in beautiful rhyme, One Wolf Howls goes through each month of the year (one month on each full-page spread) to help reinforce numbers and months of the year and to introduce the habitat and behavior of wolves. Here are two of my favorite spreads that include movement or dance...

CM: Canadian Review of Materials - September 2009

One Wolf Howls is at least four books in one. To begin with, it’s a counting book with the number of wolves increasing by one on each successive double page spread. It is also a calendar book that commences with one lone wolf "howl[ing] in the January moonlight" and concludes with a wolf pack, consisting of a dozen wolves, "sing[ing] a December chorus." In a sense, it also is a "seasons" book as Detwiler’s realistic illustrations reflect the seasonally changing flora. And One Wolf Howls is also a book of poetry as the text for each spread consists of a four line, two sentence poem that has some repeating features, both internally and between poems. The first line identifies the number of wolves as well as the month, and the verb tells what the wolf/wolves is/are doing: howls, play, bark, hunt, peek, nap, trot, dance, hide, sniff, sleep, and sing. The word(s) connected to the month most often provide a mini weathercast for the month, eg. "February snowfall," "brisk March morning" or "April rainfall." The second line describes the wolves, usually in terms of what they are doing, while the third line is an exact repeat of the poem’s first line. The first four words in the poem’s final line, "deep in the woods," are common to all 12 poems while the remaining words locate more precisely where the wolves are in the woods. The poetry uses an ABAB rhyme scheme.

Like most reviewers with an English, not Fine Art, major, I’m much more comfortable talking about a book’s text than I am in speaking to a picturebook’s art. Since I was most impressed by Detwiler’s illustrations, I decided, with the assistance of a Google search, to e-mail her and to ask her what medium/media she used. Following is her reply in full: "For the illustrations, first I do a detailed pencil drawing on Strathmore 500 series cold press illustration board and then I use Yarka (a Russian brand) pan watercolors with gouache highlights. My favorite brushes are Winsor & Newton series 7. For more information, I did an interview with Stephanie Ruble about illustrating that can be viewed at: Live Journal." I do recommend reading the interview as it does provide more detail concerning how she created the illustrations.

The book’s five closing pages bear the collective title "For Creative Minds," and permission is granted to photocopy these pages or to download them from with the latter also including additional teaching activities. The book includes a "Wolf Communications Matching Activity" and a "Wolf Calendar Activity" as well as two pages of factual information about wolves.

>With One Wolf Howls, younger readers, in addition to learning the months of the year, can practice the numbers from 1 to 12 by counting the "correct" number of wolves that are to be found in the spreads’ illustrations. September will offer a special counting challenge as the wolves’ locations are partly masked by the autumn leaves. Older readers might wish to focus on the "hard" wolf facts contained within "For Creative Minds." Teachers could utilize the poems’ pattern as a template and have their students’ create poetry focused on other woodland animals. Highly Recommended.
- Dave Jenkinson, Editor, Winnipeg, MB

Eclectic Homeschool Online - Oct 2009

One Wolf Howls, and you meet the pack in this charming story which comes to you as an e-book, hard or soft cover book. The 32 pages are divided into the story and the creative mind sections with strikingly beautiful paintings of wolves.

Scotti Cohn tells the story of the wolf pack through the months of the year, as Susan Detwiler illustrates each seasonal view of the wolves in their naturally changing habitat. The combination of flowing verse with stunning pictures will bring children back to this book over and over again.

The “Creative Mind” portion includes a fun matching activity that shows a variety of communications wolves use to “talk” with each other and with people. Surely, everyone understands when a wolf shows his teeth and growls that he is angry and wants to be left alone. But what does it mean when ears are up, or tail is down?

Other interesting wolf information includes the wolf life cycle and hunting, with calendar activity and fun facts. Wolves are an endangered species because they were over hunted. This was a mistake because the wolf plays an important part in the balance of nature. As scientists learn more about the great design, we find that these wonderful wolves are an example of survival in the face of great odds.

One Wolf Howls has quickly become one of my and my children’s favorite books. In our elementary curriculum notation this books fits with science, nature studies, animal studies, math, art, and reading.

Over a Steaming Cup of Tea - May 2012

Children will have so much fun reading this book that they won’t even realize they’re learning. Or, even better, they will realize they’re learning and decide that learning’s fun! This story follows a pack of wolves through the months of the year; each page spread shows a new month and adds one new wolf to the pack.

The story is written in a lilting chant that will make this a fun read-aloud book. The words are beautiful, and it’s fun to experience the mix of poetry and biology! Only in a few places did the rhyming sound forced. The illustrations are bright and detailed; each page is a beautiful contrast to the pages before it. Kids’ eyes will be glued to this book as they read!

As always with Arbordale, the last pages of the book offer great educational games for kids to play. My personal favorite was a wolf communication activity, in which the reader matches the wolf’s posture with the message the wolf is trying to convey. For someone who can be a little nervous around strange dogs (like me), this might just come in handy!

Helen Thayer, New Zealand Author and Explorer - Oct 2009

What a great job Scotti Cohn has done. One Wolf Howls is a beautiful book, and the format in which she includes wolves and the months of the year is cleverly done and provides a wonderful teaching tool for children. Every young reader will learn to appreciate these charismatic animals. This book should be in every school library and indeed in every young students classroom. 

Midwest Book Review - May 2009

One Wolf Howls is a gorgeous, rhyming picturebook that introduces young reader to the majesty of wolves in their natural environment. Though told in the style of a counting rhyme, One Wolf Howls is first and foremost about wolves - author Scotti Cohn consulted with the staff at the Wolf Park and the International Wolf Sanctuary as well as Gina Schrader, Conservation Associate at Defenders of Wildlife, to ensure that all the information presented about wolves is completely accurate. The captivating, realistic color illustrations of a mother wolf and her pups by Susan Detwiler add the perfect touch to this enthralling and highly recommended gift to young fans of these amazing animals. "Six wolves nap in a warm June meadow - / snuffling, snorting, lost in their dreams. / Six wolves nap in a warm June meadow / deep in the woods by the bubbling streams."

National Wildlife Federation Your Big Backyard (Book of the Month for October!) - September 2009

Structured as a counting book, this engaging story follows a pack of wolves throughout a year. Readers learn where wolves live, as well as how they hunt, play, and raise their young. The simple rhyming text and action-packed illustrations beautifully capture a wolf's life as the seasons change. A “For Creative Minds” educational section at the end of the book includes a wolf communications matching activity, a wolf calendar activity, and fun wolf facts.

Book Scoops - June 23, 2009

One Wolf Howls by Scotti Cohn is a book to be read outloud – even if you are the only one in the room because otherwise you might not like it as much. I wasn’t sure I liked the book until I read it outloud (note to self. . .always read poetry outloud) because I didn’t like how the first line to each stanza was repeated as the third when I was reading it to myself, but after reading it outloud I liked the book much more.  Some books work to read to yourself, but this one not so much.

We are huge animal fans in our house and I have watched many of a documentary on wolves. I find them fascinating creatures and love their close cousins – dogs. My daughter and I enjoyed reading One Wolf Howls. A unique blend of poetry and factual information that helps students learn about the months of the year, numbers 1-12 and wolves.  The first beginning with ”One whole howls in the January moonlight” and the book ends with ”Twelve Wolves singing a December chorus.” We liked the repetition and rhythm throughout the book, but one of my favorite parts of the book is Susan Detwiler’s illustrations - and how well her beautiful illustrations correlate with the text. For example January looks like I would imagine January in the wolf’s habitat. And later on in the spring their are wolf puppies in May. Of course this is made easy because Scotti has written the text to match the life cycle and seasons the wolf actually experiences and really who knew you could pack so much factual information into poetry book.

I have to say I have been impressed with Arbordale Publishing, their purpose is to provide children with high quality literature that teaches math and science concepts – think PBS kids shows in book form. With the books I have seen so far they really deliver what they say they are going to do, “to create picture books that excite children’s imaginations, are artistically spectacular, and have educational value.”

One Wolf Howls is no exception, there are lots education activities and the end of the book, which my daughter loves, loves, loves. Did I mention she loves the activities at the end of the book? Especially the one with the Wolf Communications Matching Activity, which about how wolves use body language to communicate.  In addition there are many resources including eBooks and Spanish materials.

I would recommend One Wolf Howls or other books from Arbordale to any teacher or parent who is interested in quality picture books that can be used to teach Math or Science and am seriously considering giving a copy to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher next year.

Judith Nasse, Children's Book Reviews - April 2009

We are fascinated with wolves, as they have been both a traditional source of fear and, in more recent times, an endangered species that we have been able to view up close in documentaries. This picture book is another compelling up close look at wolf nature. It is also a counting book that depicts wolves through each month of the year. The marriage of text and illustrations in this book is most lovely. Author Scotti Cohn charmingly shows wolf behavior and activity from hunting, playing, and rearing pups to how they live in snow, rain, and sun. Susan Detwiler has given young children the gift of a striking and lovely visual, up-close, look at wolves. Her illustrations can help art classes, and children at home, find new ways to illustrate their own writing, such as in the gorgeous silhouette painting depicting eight wolves in August. This is an engaging and must have book for ages 3 – 8.

Kevin Strauss, M.S. Ed., Editor, Northlands Storytelling Journal

One way to value a book is by how many things it can do all at the same time. By that scale, One Wolf Howls by Scotti Cohn is a huge success. This animal counting book uses rhymes and lush illustrations by Susan Detwiler to teach children how to count and children and parents about the biology and lifecycle of the gray wolf. Cohn gets her science right and makes it fun and interesting for readers. The “For Creative Minds” section in the back of the book includes more science information and activities that parents and children can do together to learn even more about wolves. There is so much going on in One Wolf Howls, from counting the wolves in each picture to figuring out what the wolves are doing at a particular time of year, that it is easy to see why children would want to read it again and again. In a world where nonfiction children’s books are often dry and boring, Cohn’s One Wolf Howls is both enchanting and educational.

In the Pages blog - April 9, 2009

A great way to use the months of the year and numbers, 1-12, to teach children about wolves and their behavior. I think kids will LOVE this one!

Patricia Van West, children's book author - March 2009

Lyrical. Educational. Enjoyable.  One Wolf Howls written by Scotti Cohn and illustrated by Susan Detwiler is the whole package.  Adults will delight in reading this book aloud--the poetic lines roll off the tongue.  And the use of repetition makes this an excellent beginning reader book for children. One Wolf Howls is educational without being pedantic.  Cohn’s text and Detwiler’s realistic and lovely illustrations give a peek into the fascinating lives of wolves.  Slipped in are lessons on counting and the months of the year.  The educational activities at the end of the book and on the publisher’s website ( are welcome resources for parents and educators alike.  Clearly One Wolf Howls is a delightful book to be enjoyed over and over again.

A Year of Reading - August 25, 2009

This book is a counting, rhyming, month-by-month wolf book. In January there is a lone wolf howling at the moon. After pups are born, there are six wolves in June, and by December, there are twelve wolves singing together in the winter night. The back matter of this book gives readers more information and activities that will extend their learning about wolves, and the Arbordale website has still more goodies to go with the book. This book invites readers to both browse and read with the fun mix of genres and the beautiful illustrations.

Nancy Attebury, children's book author-- March 2009

Crack open this book for a engrossing wolf adventure that spans an entire year. Poetic language flows as smoothly as a musical rendition. Text strengthens counting concepts and reinforces names of months by revealing what one wolf does in January, what two wolves do in February, and so on until December. The third line of every four line stanza repeats what the first line says, thereby making this a book that youngsters will want to “help” read after hearing it a few times. This entertaining and educational book invites readers to listen to the story and learn about the habitat of wolves, their life cycle, what they do, and their ability to work in packs. Bright, realistic illustrations hold detail and successfully show the movement of these fascinating creatures. End activities allow readers to look at the body language of a wolf to understand how it communicates, learn fun facts, learn about the life cycle, and learn information about how wolves hunt and how wolves are endangered. It also contains a calendar activity to help students understand seasons. According to the publisher, the target age for this book is 4 to 7. However, older students could enjoy it, too, and would especially like the end activities.

The National Writing for Children Center - April 11, 2009

If one wolf howls in the January moonlight, what do two wolves do, or three or four? Young readers will find out in this delightful, informative picture book from children’s author Scotti Cohn.

Using rhyming text that children will love, Cohn takes readers on a one-year journey - from month to month - into the world of the wolf.

Beautifully detailed, realistic illustrations by Susan Detwiler bring the text to life, making it fun for children to count the wolves among the seasonal backgrounds and foregrounds that show wolves in natural settings.

As with all books published by Arbordale Publishers, the book includes a “For Creative Minds” educational section with activities and fun facts. Additional teaching activties including coloring pages, before and after reading questions, and interactive quizzes are available at

One Wolf Howls is perfect for the home or school library. Children will want to read the book over and over again. Teachers and parents will love the many interesting and challenging ways the book can be used to teach a variety of math and science content.

Armchair Interviews - February 2009

My almost four-year-old grandson and I read One Wolf Howls over and over. He didn’t seem to tire of the book. He literally howled with the wolves as we read the text in rhyme. The author uses numbers (from 1 to 12) and the twelve months to introduce children to wolves and the behavior of these animals in their natural setting. We learn what it would be like to be a wolf in the winter, where we would sleep and eat, and all of the other “wolf things” a child would want to know.

The illustrations are life-like and will draw the children into the story. I wanted to touch the pages, while my grandson insisted on holding the book and howling with the wolves. This book will be on his shelf for a long time to come. This book is complete with Wolf Fun Facts, Communications Matching activity and Wolf Life Cycle Matching Activities for the older kids.

Armchair Interviews says: Arbordale hits a home run with another special book for kids.

YA Books Central - April 2009

This joyful picture book will delight young nature lovers! If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a wolf—where you'd sleep and what you'd do during the cold winter—this book will captivate and enchant you. Every page depicts a fresh view of a truly fascinating animal, with gorgeous illustrations and lovely little poems about their lives “deep in the woods”. In rhyming text, author Scotti Cohn takes you through a year in the lives of wolves, from January through December, using the numbers 1 through 12 as one wolf howls, two wolves play, three wolves bark, four wolves hunt, and so on through the months of the year. As a book to read aloud, parents will appreciate the romping rhymes, accurate knowledge, and artistic splendor.

Beautifully illustrated by Susan Detwiler, this realistic picture book is a magical frolic through the snow, rain, grasses, and forests of the world of wolves. Depicted in their natural settings, the wolves are majestic but unmistakably wild animals. The facts about their behavior and the information in the book were verified by the staff at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana, and the International Wolf Sanctuary. There is an educational section at the back of the book full of fun facts, vocabulary, crafts, and activities to enhance the book’s opportunities for learning. English and Spanish audio readings are available online for free at the website for Arbordale Publishing.

Children will be entranced by this colorful book of howling, frolicking, dancing wolves!

Stories for Children Magazine - March 2009

What do you know about wolves? Most people would recognize them and understand that they are relatives of the domesticated dog, but there are many aspects in which the wolf remains a mysterious creature. Scotti Cohn's gentle poetic text tells how one wolf howls in the January moonlight, two wolves play in a February snowfall, three wolves bark on a brisk March morning, and so on. Can you guess how many wolves sing a December chorus? The luscious, full-color drawings by Susan Detwiler which accompany are a feast for the eyes. One thing that makes Arbordale books so great is that they are aligned to state standards in math and science. Thus, they are not only fun and enjoyable to read, but also educational at the same time.

The "For Creative Minds" educational section at the end of the book, which may be photocopied or printed from Arbordale's website by the owner of the book for educational, non-commercial uses, includes a Wolf Communications Matching Activity, Fun Facts about wolves and their life cycle, a Wolf Calendar Activity, and information about hunting and endangered wolves. Besides the knowledge concerning wolves, additional benefits for very young children in having this book read to them are counting from one to twelve and becoming familiar with the months of the year. Cross-curricular "Teaching activities," interactive quizzes, and much more are available online at the Arbordale website. One Wolf Howls will delight all youngsters, especially those who like to learn about nature.

Marion Dane Bauer, Newbery-Award-winning author of Runt

What a wealth of information in One Wolf Howls! It includes counting, the months and seasons, and a treasure trove of information about wolves, all presented in the kind of lyrical language that will make reading aloud a pleasure.

Wild About Nature blog - March 14, 2009

The rhythm of Scotti Cohn’s text transports readers into the world of wolves. In perfect time, we sing, dance, track, hunt and play alongside our wolf friends. We get to observe their varied habitats, rituals and behaviors. And if that were not enough, we also get to count to twelve and learn about our months and seasons.

Detwiler’s illustrations are magical. My favorite spread shows a pack of wolf shadows dancing in and around a lake in the moonlight. The wolves, playing in the wild, are stunning. The words and pictures intertwine beautifully and seamlessly in this spread and throughout the entire book.

One Wolf Howls is a book that can be used and enjoyed across the curriculum. It would be a lovely addition to any home, classroom or library bookshelf. - March 2009

One Wolf Howls combines counting, the months of the year, seasons, and poetry to introduce children to wolves. The rhyming text is gentle and repetitive, making this an excellent choice for reluctant readers, while still using appropriate and engaging language.

Susan Detwiler's beautiful illustrations bring the wolves and their habitat to life. Her choice of colors and contrasts create a couple of spreads that are so beautiful, I would hang them as art. I can't choose a favorite spread, but my three-year-old granddaughter loved finding the wolves in September's bright golden foliage.

Children will enjoy the rhythm and illustrations, while also learning about the majestic wolf: how they communicate, hunt, their social order, and more. The teaching activities at the end of the book are fun and appropriate. More importantly, children will learn the truth about wolves, their importance in our ecosystem, and respect for their presence.

Run of the Mill blog - February 2009

This is a book by Scotti Cohn, published by Arbordale Publishing. I am only just discovering these books, but I am loving them. Science and Math through literature! One Wolf Howls is a story book in rhyme that teaches about the months of the year, as well as the behavior of wolves in the wild. The kids were entranced throughout, and the illustrations are magnificent. This is no Scholastic type spit-out-as-many-as-you-can publishing company; these are beautiful books. Best part is the five back pages that are for the parent: activity ideas, more information about the subject, teaching tips - also available on their website. Like for this one there are discussion questions, vocabulary activities, a wolf madlibs, word search, quizzes, calender pages, and coloring pages. If they would include a LAPBOOK I would be in heaven!! I have a few more in my possession that we are about to read next, but I wish we had more!!

Deborah Ruddell, children's book author - February 2009

I was so pleased to receive my copy of One Wolf Howls last week. It is a lovely blend of poetry, nature and art. As a former teacher, I can readily see how One Wolf Howls will be a welcome addition to many classrooms, libraries, and homes.   From the opening spread ("One wolf howls in the January moonlight --/night light, dim light, midnight sky./One wolf howls in the January moonlight/deep in the woods where the moon hangs high"), the reader is drawn into the mysterious world of wolves. Scotti Cohn's imaginative language and delightful rhymes pair beautifully with Susan Detwiler's evocative paintings. Her deft weaving of information into each verse makes One Wolf Howls a versatile book for classrooms, libraries and homes: a counting book ... a book about the twelve months of the year ... a book about the seasons ... a book about the lives of wolves ... and a poetry book.

Lauren Collier Swindler, Children's Writer and Early Childhood Educator

I admire the way Scotti Cohn turns a year-long romp with wolves into a lyrical lesson about wolves, counting and seasons. The book's rollicking language and joyous spirit will have children begging to read One Wolf Howls time and again.