FROSTY (1961) A Girl and her Wolf
FROSTY (1961): A Girl and her Wolf. My Mom’s next book was FROSTY, another mostly true tale about our adoption of a150-pound Alaskan Malamute who we only later discovered was mostly wolf.
In FROSTY there is a quote from my Dad: “You can’t sit down anywhere in this house without first removing an animal.” This he gently did every day, scooping cats out of his favorite recliner after a long day’s work at his office where he was Superintendent of the County Schools for Northern New Mexico. In addition, my Dad also had to maneuver the wolf away from sitting in front of the TV where he completely obscured the screen for any other would-be viewers. Frosty, a real family-type wolf, endeavored to sit in my Dad’s lap or curl on the couch, so they could both watch the evening news.
Frosty would occasionally jump over our wall and turn up at my parochial school some miles away. This was a treat for the children as the nuns, veils flying, would usher us all inside and children and wolf would peer at each other through the glass doors. Of course, the Sisters also visited Frosty on their Sunday afternoon walk and loved his joyous “WoooowoooWOOO!” of greeting. The sisters of St. Joseph were just not sure enough of Frosty to let their young charges out to play with him.
Frosty proved to be a great father wolf and Mom let me keep two of his cubs, Kipnuk who had beautiful dark markings like her mother, Juneau, and Mush who was the color of oatmeal. I trained them both on the leash. Then Mush was adopted and I had Kipnuk and Frosty as my very own.
The last photo below shows my big brother, Steve, being greeted by Frosty and Kipnuk when he visited us in New Mexico.
The New York Times tells the tale,
Felice’s Friend—Eight year-old Felice had always wanted a little puppy she could cuddle, but when the family did get a dog it was a great big Alaskan Malamute that looked to Felice like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. Felice was heart-broken. “I’ll never like him,” she said of Frosty. Yet by the end of summer, Felice found it hard to believe that she had ever been afraid of her beautiful dog…. Mrs. Newberry, who has been delighting children for years with her books, has scored again here. This warm animal—and family—story, with its skillful and expressive black and white drawings, has an unusual charm. Anyone who reads the book cannot help but love Frosty.