Lucky Litter, The: Wolf Pups Rescued from Wildfire

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Lucky Litter, The: Wolf Pups Rescued from Wildfire
As a huge wildfire roared along the Funny River in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, firefighters rushed to the rescue. When they found five three-week-old wolf pups in need, they raced into action to save the whole litter. With no wolf parents to help, zookeepers and vets at the Alaska Zoo made sure the babies grew into a healthy, happy pack. Follow this true story as the pups travel from their charred forest to the Alaska Zoo, where they grow big and strong before finally moving to their forever home at the Minnesota Zoo.

This nonfiction picture book with a cuddle factor includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 27-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. The Lucky Litter is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.

Written by Jennifer Keats Curtis, Illustrated by John Gomes
32 pg, 8.5 x 10, Ages 4-8, Grades K-3, Lexile: 730, AR: 3.90, F&P: P
Hardcover 9781628557183 $17.95  
Paperback 9781628557190 $9.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628557206 $11.95  
EBook 9781628557237 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628557244 Purchase Here
Keywords:   EE (Environmental Education), changing habitats, natural disasters, wildfires
Animals in the book:   wolves
Vetters:   Thanks to Pat Lampi, executive director, and Shannon Jenson, curator, from the Alaska Zoo; and to Kelly Lessard, PR manager; Josh Le, social media and marketing coordinator; and Tom Ness, Tropics and Minnesota Trail supervisor from the Minnesota Zoo, for reviewing the accuracy of the information in this book. Thanks to Doug Smith, senior wildlife biologist, and Traci Weaver, public affairs, from Yellowstone National Park for reviewing the information about wolves and wildfires.


The story is simple enough for a kindergartner to understand and the extension activities at the end will expand the knowledge of older elementary students. I believe it would be a great addition to any elementary classroom library. - NSTA Recommends

A sweet read-aloud and useful resource for classroom animal studies, especially regarding endangered habitats. - Kirkus Reviews

Teachers and parents will find this a very useful too to help children learn about wolves and their place in the natural order. - Children's Literature

Author/Illustrator Info:

Award-winning Jennifer Keats Curtis has penned numerous stories about animals, including Creek Critters, Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue (Children's Choice Book Award Winner) and After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children), with co-author Dr. Brady Barr of Nat Geo Wild's Dangerous Encounter, Baby Bear's Adoption with wildlife biologists at Michigan's DNR, River Rescue with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.; and Moonlight Crab Count with co-author Dr. Neeti Bathala. The long-time writer's other recent books include The Lizard Lady, with co-author Dr. Nicole Angeli, Maggie: Alaska's Last Elephant and the Animal Helpers series. When not writing, Jennifer can be found among students and teachers, talking about literacy and conservation.

John Gomes' passion for photography is evident through his nature and Alaskan-focused images. A self-taught photographer going back to the "manual" camera days, John's photos capture Alaskan life including mushing (sled-dog racing) and rodeos. John has been the Alaska Zoo's official volunteer photographer for over ten years and has spent countless hours capturing magnificent images of baby and adult animals, including bears, goats, coyotes, foxes, and porcupines. To see more of John's photos, visit his website at


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