Joan Sandin author/illustrator/translator

Small Wolf wanted to be a hunter like his father. One day he took his canoe downriver to Manhattan, the Island of the Hills, to see what luck he would have. But what he found - houses with chimneys, ships with sails, all kinds of odd animals, and a man whose face was all WHITE - made him hurry back to his village

"I know about the white men," said his father. "They are all right if you leave them alone."

But Small Wolf and his father were to learn otherwise. Soon they were forced to seek new hunting grounds, and to move again and again and again.


First published in 1972, Small Wolf was reissued with full color illustrations in 1994

Best Children's Books for Spring '72 (SLJ)

Children's Books of '72 (Library of Congress)


"Although this fictional story is about Manhattan, Small Wolf and his father could be any of the American Indians who were displaced from their homes and hunting grounds by the white men. The Canarse Indians, who "sold" Manhattan to the Dutch, had no more right to the land than anyone else - they lived in the Brooklyn area - and to them the idea of owning land made no more sense than owning the sky or the sea, They were happy to take the money the Dutch offered, and it wasn't until too late that they realized the white men's ideas about property were different from their own. This story was repeated, time after dismal time, until the Indians had nothing left." from Nathaniel Benchley's Author's Note


(starred) Small Wolf and his family live a peaceful life until white men are discovered on Manhattan. Told without sentimentality, pathos, or corny Indian talk, this is an eventful story and an important presentation of the Indian's point of view. The easy-to-read text and somewhat sylized illustrations provide a good read and stimulate questions for elementary age readers.
School Library Journal

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