The Wolves Return: A New Beginning for Yellowstone National Park


by Celia Godkin; Pajama Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-77278-011-6 Picture Book Ages 6–9 • List Price: $19.95 CAD/$17.95 USD

For more than half a century, there have been no wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Now a howl rings out again: humans have re-introduced two packs to the area. They know that the wolves will affect prey species, like the elk that graze the river valley. What they cannot predict is that these magnificent creatures will change an entire ecosystem, improving biodiversity and altering the very landscape.

The Wolves Return features evocative, full-spread pencil crayon and watercolour illustrations and is further enhanced
by information pages on the wolf in North America that will delight young animal lovers and inquisitive minds.

Click here to download The Wolves Return Teaching Guide.


“…a beautifully and a realistically illustrated picture book. It offers young readers just the right amount of text and back story…”Baker & Taylor’s CATS Meow Staff Pick

Godkin succinctly outlines the species that have enjoyed success as a result of the return of the wolf to Yellowstone… Young readers will enjoy seeing all the animals and plants that now flourish as a result of one change in an ecosystem. Godkin’s illustrations, created with pencil crayon and watercolor, are all two-page spreads and just beautiful.”Ingram News and Reviews for the Youth Librarian

The illustrations are beautifully rendered, moving and evocative. They increase the emotional impact of the words, showing many creatures against the natural backgrounds of the park….The Wolves Return is a handsome book with an uplifting environmental message, one that avoids sounding like a textbook….Highly Recommended.”CM Magazine

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the WorldSkydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World

By Celia Godkin; Pajama Press, 2014, ISBN 978-1-927485-61-3 (bound) $19.95.

Click to watch the book trailer.

The inspiring story of how the peregrine falcon was saved from the brink of disaster.

High in the sky, a peregrine falcon joins her mate for some swooping and diving before returning to her nest to guard her eggs. The couple doesn’t know it yet, but they will lose most of these eggs; the first clutch to a volunteer scaling the cliff, and the next to the harmful effects of DDT. Told against the backdrop of scientists’ efforts to understand the raptors’ decline in the wild, this illustrated non-fiction book tells the story of several generations of falcons as they’re taken to a sanctuary, reintegrated into the wild, and ultimately relocated to the ledge of a city skyscraper.

With dynamic oil illustrations, author and wildlife artist Celia Godkin effortlessly captures the detail of the falcons and brings to life the different landscapes they inhabit. Skydiver will delight and inform readers with a passion for species preservation, as it documents the struggles and the eventual success of the efforts to save the fastest bird in the world.


“In clear and engaging language, Godkin frames this informative book around the story of a pair of falcons and their offspring. The dramatic mating display of the male and the courtship dance between the two are beautifully illustrated.”— School Library Journal

Dramatic oil paintings show falcons in various activities… this success story will be welcomed by nature lovers.”— Kirkus Reviews

An attractive, informative picture book.”— Booklist

“…crisp text and exquisite paintings…This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries.”— Resource Links

Godkin’s writing is clear and concise and well-researched….dramatic full-colour paintings illuminate each page….Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World is well worth a place on the shelves of the wildlife section in an elementary school library. Highly Recommended.”— CM Magazine

“…Godkin…once again inspires young readers with an informative account about the natural world – in this case the successful conservation of a species.” Canadian Children’s Book News

An accomplished artist, Godkin also gives us pictures of this extraordinarily swift bird…it is these illustrations—as well as Godkin’s advice to “Look up!”—that will really inform and excite children about these beautiful birds.— The National Reading Campaign

This is a hopeful, upbeat success story told using attractive…pictures in mostly blues and browns. A brief author’s note at the end provides sources of additional information about peregrine falcons and the rescue efforts.”— Youth Services Books Reviews

“…informative text…detailed accompanying artwork…An author’s note encourages readers to find out more.”— Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Awards and Honours:

2016 Rainforest of Reading nominee
2015 Bank Street Best Book
2015 Green Earth Book Award nominee
2015–2016 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award nominee
2014 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection

Wolf Island

WolfIslandWritten and illustrated by Celia Godkin

Help us celebrate Fitzhenry & Whiteside's 40th anniversary with the newly designed edition of this classic bestseller!

With a new cover and newly designed interiors, Wolf Island is sure to be a howl! It's a vivid, full colour portrait of nature, and the fragile balance of a natural ecosystem.

Set on an island in Northern Ontario, the Wolf Island story, based on an actual event, is a moving chronicle of what happens when the highest link in a food chain is removed. The resultant population growth, food shortage, and starvation affect every member of the chain.

A family of wolves leave their island environment. Although, at first, their absence is unnoticed, nature's delicately balanced ecosystem comes undone over a period of months, and the mice, rabbits, squirrels, and even owls fight for survival. Finally, the accidental return of the wolf family to their home restores the island habitat to health.

Celia Godkin's dramatic, full colour illustrations will inspire readers of all ages. Her scientific portrait of an ecosystem and its component species will not be easily forgotten.

Below are links to two full page spreads from the book:
•    Pages 6 and 7
•    Pages 14 and 15
Click here to download a copy of the Teacher’s Guide.


"Rarely has the working of an ecosystem been demonstrated in such a straightforward and dramatic way. Young children will be able to understand the story, and older children will find much to think about and discuss. Celia Godkin does not waste a word and her lovely full-colour illustrations make this a memorable book, which should be in every school and public library." -- Canadian Materials

"Although the text remains unchanged from the 1993 edition (Freeman), larger page size and improved formatting make the story easier to share with groups. Instead of fading into the illustrations, the text blocks are highlighted and framed. The pictures themselves are brighter and more sharply focused versions of the originals. Pages are fewer in number, necessitating some shifts of text and the elimination of a few images. Overall, the revisions add to the books visual appeal. . . Libraries without the original book should definitely consider purchasing this one, and collections with an older copy may want to substitute this more readable version." -- School Library Journal


Information Book of the Year
Mr. Christie's Book Award nominee
Shortlisted for 1989 Mr. Christie's Children's Book Award for illustration Children's Literature
Winner of the 1990 Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award.

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Ladybug Garden

LadybugGardenWritten and illustrated by Celia Godkin

Published in the US by Sierra Club Books as What About Ladybugs?

There once was a garden alive with flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
While the gardener was pleased with the plants, he wasn't so sure about all the insects that called the garden home. He liked the bright red ladybugs, and he knew that the bees and the butterflies pollinated the flowers, but some of the bugs were nothing but trouble.

One day the gardener thought, If I get rid of the bad insects, my garden will be perfect - and he sprayed all the plants with bug killer. But the results were far from perfection! As his beautiful garden came close to ruin, the gardener began to see that the plants and insects were linked, that they depended on one another to survive. But how could he undo the damage?

Accompanied by vibrant, beautifully detailed illustrations, this simple story of one garden introduces young children to the important concept of the balance of nature. Youngsters will be both reassured and enlightened when they find out how everybody's favourite insect- the ladybug- saves the day.

Click here to download a copy of the Teacher’s Guide.


"Celia Godkin’s language is simple and direct . . . The drama she reveals through her magnifying glass is real, complex and intense. . . Godkin’s precise, yet graceful illustrations capture the warm fluidity of summer and the calm of a cared-for garden . . . a beautiful and wise book." -- Resource Links

" . . . features some lovely artwork depicting insect and plant life." -- Books in Canada

"The text is simple and brief and is laced with just the right amount of biological information to teach children without losing their interest." -- Quill and Quire

" . . . an exceptionally well done book that introduces the child to basic ecology. The beautifully detailed illustrations enhance the text and bring the garden to life." -- Countryside Magazine


1996 Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Honour Book.

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