About the Book
Longlist, First Nation Communities READ Awards 2022/2023
A young Indigenous girl moves to the big city and learns to find connections to her culture and the land wherever she goes, despite encountering bullies and feelings of isolation along the way.
When Little Wolf moves to the big city with her mom and sister, she has difficulty adjusting to their new life. She misses living close to nature and seeing animals wherever she goes, and she misses fishing with her grandfather and seeing dolphins leaping beside their boat. Most of all, she misses feeling connected to her culture.
At school, Little Wolf has trouble fitting in. Although her class has kids from many different cultures, no one is Heiltsuk, like her. The other kids call her names and make her feel unwelcome. Her only defence is to howl like a wolf so they run away. But this only isolates her further.
Gradually, Little Wolf starts to see the beauty in her new surroundings. She discovers that there is wildlife everywhere, even in the big city. An otter swims beside her as she walks on the seawall. A chickadee chirps in a tree in the big park near her house. And her mother helps her stay connected to their culture by signing them up for beading and dance classes. Despite the difficult start, Little Wolf grows up proud of her background and ready to face the future. This inspiring tale, the first in a trilogy, combines traditional and contemporary Indigenous themes and artwork.
About the Author(s)
Teoni Spathelfer is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation from coastal BC. Since childhood she has loved immersing herself in her own culture and learning about other cultures around the world. Spathelfer has worked as a publicist; a radio journalist, host, and producer; and an arts and music writer. Her documentary Teoni’s Dream, informed by her mother’s residential school experience, has aired nationwide on CBC Radio. Her photography has been featured across various media and sold privately. She has been blessed with three daughters and four grandchildren.
Natassia Davies is a Victoria-based artist and graphic designer and is of Coast Salish ancestry. For nearly a decade, Natassia has worked traditionally and digitally to create illustrations, develop visual brand identities, and design various other visual communications tools for local businesses, individuals, and non-profits. She also works with other First Nations Peoples and Indigenous groups to create educational tools and public art pieces. Natassia has collaborated on multiple large-scale Indigenous murals that can be found throughout Sooke and Victoria’s harbour.
"Spathelfer’s Little Wolf is an inspiring read and encouraging story for any child feeling discouraged or disconnected. This story would be a welcome addition to any primary or low intermediate classroom."
—Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools
STARRED REVIEW —Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
"The strength of Little Wolf lies in how it gently moves from personal challenges towards hope and in its unifying thread of pride in one’s culture.... Recommended."
—CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Little Wolf shows children that no matter where they are in the world, they can always find ways to keep their own culture alive."
—The Miramichi Reader
"If you’re looking for a strong, girl-led story for kids 6 to 9, Little Wolf is a great pick! I really enjoyed it and recommend it for teachers and librarians looking to build their Indigenous collections."
—Reading with a Pencil
"Overall, this is an inspiring contemporary story for all children, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, about a Heiltsuk girl growing up and overcoming obstacles [...] by embracing her culture and ultimately being true to herself and her identity."
—Canadian Children's Book News, Winter 2021