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Wolf Haven Photographer Debuts New Book

Annie Marie Musselman discusses 'Lobos' at two local readings

Published on: October 02, 2018

Wolf
Photo:
The new book “Lobos” tells the true story of a Mexican gray wolf family. Photo courtesy of Annie Marie Musselman
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Wolf family
Photo:
The new book “Lobos” tells the true story of a Mexican gray wolf family. Photo courtesy of Annie Marie Musselman
2 / 2

Seattle-based fine-art photographer Annie Marie Musselman has photographed the likes of Gloria Steinem and Barack Obama for magazines including Outside, The New Yorker and Elle, but it’s her portraits of animals which resonate the most with people. 

She’s produced two books about animal subjects and has just come out with her third, the children’s book “Lobos,” co-authored with the writer Brenda Peterson.

“Lobos” tells the true story of a Mexican gray wolf family whose pups are born at Wolf Haven International near Mount Rainier. The family is transported to another sanctuary near the border with Mexico, and successfully released into the wild. Musselman’s photos illustrate most of the book, along with natural history and wolf facts meant to teach kids about conservation and the challenges of releasing animals back into the wild from captivity. 

You can meet her at upcoming book signing events at Third Place Books, The first one will be on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 11 a.m. at their Seward Park location and the second one will be on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m. at their Ravenna location.

Musselman is parent to Maggie, 7, and Jude, 3 ½. Recently, she shared her thoughts about the book’s genesis and why children are the most important audience for the conservation message. 

You’ve collaborated with this same author before on a book about the wolves of Wolf Haven; what prompted you to do a children’s book on this same topic?

After the first book [“Wolf Haven”] came out, the publisher approached us with the idea of another book using the photos I had already taken of the pups. 

I had photographed them after they were born, their first check-up [and] the first time they had ever seen a human. It’s an amazing story … can you believe the wolves flew on a 737 headed for New Mexico and no one on that flight knew they were in the hold in crates?!

What do you want to convey with your photos, knowing this is a younger readership?

[I want] for parents to read this and want to go deeper into how they might help wolves. [I want] for kids’ interest to be peaked. [I want] for kids and parents to have a conversation about how important wolves are to a natural balance in an ecosystem.

What is one surprise you can share about photographing animals?

Animals are the hardest, up there with little kids! They will never “make the face.” I’ll have an idea of what I want so I’ll wait it out … It takes a long time to get that look I want. 

I am especially interested in an animal’s eyes. If you see their eyes and eyelashes, you feel closer … we’re reminded of ourselves. I want to create that connection between humans and animals. That’s what’s going to create change; if we feel close then we want to protect it.

Are you inspired to do more work for children’s books?

So much! This book was a dream come true. The people we need to influence the most about the environment are kids, not adults. I want to excite kids about nature. I want to put kids in front of these topics through more books and even film. 

Before I even had kids, I heard Jane Goodall speak at a conference for conservation media that the number one audience for our message was children. I never forgot that.

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