About the Book:
Title: First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Illustrator: Jaime Kim
Pub. Date: February 9, 2021
Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for the recently released First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends. Special thanks to author Kersten Hamilton for sending me a finished copy to give away on Twitter.
How did dogs become our best friends? This picture book uses a nonfiction narrative format to explain to kids how wolves evolved into dogs. The story begins in the Stone Age. A young girl and wolf pup meet and play but once they both grow up, their friendship must end, for humans and wolves are rivals hunting the same prey. Many, many years pass and a young boy living in a hut meets a wolf pup. They interact more closely with the boy scratching the pup and sharing his food, but like the girl, the relationship does not last although the pair watch each other from afar. Over time, more children and wolf pups befriend each other. Their relationship is more intimate trading items, drinking from the same water hole, sleeping side by side, and finally, traveling together to a new home. On the last page spread, it is now present day and a beagle (yes, a beagle!) and a girl run toward one another full of excitement and love.
Hamilton’s concise, melodic text and Kim’s warm and radiant illustrations are in perfect harmony. Words were chosen and art was drawn thoughtfully and with purpose to show how wolves evolved into dogs. At the end of the book, back matter includes more facts about their progression from competitor to companion as well as a bibliography. And pay special attention to the gorgeous endpapers, for the front depicts their rival relationship in hieroglyphics and the child-like illustrations of a girl and her dog grace the back endsheets. Thanks to author Kersten Hamilton and Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for sharing an eARC.