Book Trailer Premiere: Lone Wolf by Sarah Kurpiel

Happy Monday! Author-illustrator and librarian Sarah Kurpiel stopped by to share Lone Wolf's book trailer and to discuss Maple, dogs, picture books, school librarians, and Mikayla. I wrote the words in purple, and Sarah wrote the words in black. Thank you, Sarah! 

Lone Wolf’s book trailer captures the spirit of the story: a bit of humor and joy mixed with a bit of worry and self-doubt. The trailer introduces Maple, gives us a sense of her relationship with her family, and sets up the central conflict that will drive her journey. 

Maple is a husky engulfed in an identity crisis. Mistaken for a wolf one too many times, Maple starts questioning who she is and where she belongs. I think a lot of kids (and people of all ages, really) can relate to the way Maple feels in her moments of self-doubt. 


Dogs are one of my favorite animals to draw. Need evidence? Look no further than Lone Wolf’s endpapers! Dogs are full of personality and bring such joy into the world. I’m always in the mood for another cute dog video! (That’s 99% why I’m on Twitter.) 

Picture books are like poems. They pack meaning into small spaces. They have to. The format demands it. Their shortness heightens the importance of every decision: every word, every picture, every page turn. There’s no room for anything other than the most important stuff. I think that’s why some picture books have the power to stick with us all our lives. 

School librarians are indispensable. They connect kids with books, promote a love of reading, and foster critical thinking. I have so much respect for what they do. 


Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about the dog who inspired Lone Wolf. Maple is inspired by my childhood dog, a Siberian Husky named Mikayla. Like Maple, Mikayla was playful and goofy and stubborn in all the best ways. One minute she was a couch potato, the next she was zooming around at lightning-speed, swiping action figures, sneaking extra treats, and doing that distinctive howl/whine/talking thing huskies do instead of barking. And also like Maple, Mikayla was often compared to a wolf. This got me thinking. I imagined Mikayla wondering if maybe, just maybe, she was a wolf. And that’s where Lone Wolf got its start.

Look for Lone Wolf on May 19, 2020.  

HarperCollins' Description: 

Maple the husky loves being the Parker family’s dog. She’s a valued member of the team, but strangers always seem to think she’s a wolf! It’s true: Maple can hunt, she can howl, and she can dig, just like wolves can. Oh, no! What if she is a wolf and doesn’t belong with her family, after all?

A tale of family, self-acceptance, and belonging, this perfectly paced debut strikes the balance between heartwarming and hilarious. The expressive artwork and simple, readable text let this irrepressible and sensitive dog shine in this picture book version of the hero’s journey. LONE WOLF will capture readers’ hearts, whether or not they have a pet themselves. Fans of RED: A CRAYON'S STORY and WOLFIE THE BUNNY will cheer for Maple to find exactly where she belongs.

Sarah Kurpiel is a librarian and picture book illustrator from the Midwest. Her stories are inspired by animals, nature, and everyday life. A self-taught illustrator, Sarah has been doodling in the margins of notebooks for as long as she can remember. She started drawing digitally in 2016 and never stopped. Sarah uses a power wheelchair and considers her disability an important part of her identity. Her debut picture book Lone Wolf will be published by Greenwillow in May 2020. 


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