CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 9. . . .October 30, 2009.
Savanna Animals. (Who Lives Here?).
Deborah Hodge. Illustrated by Pat Stephens.
Toronto, ON: Kid Can Press, 2009.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55453-073-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55453-072-4 (hc.).
Savanna animals-Juvenile literature.
Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.
Review by Sherry Faller.
The elephant is the world’s biggest land animal. An adult elephant can weigh as much as 13 heavy pianos.
Savanna Animals, part of the “Who Lives Here?” series, is designed to introduce very young children to the animals that live in a savanna ecosystem. The information is written in a child-friendly format including some sound effects that promote active participation. “The savanna is lush and green after it rains. The animals fill up on fresh grass. Munch, munch…” There is a contents page and a picture glossary called ‘Animal Words.’ There is also a ‘For Parents and Teachers’ section that provides some background information about where in the world savannas are found and some brief information about how savanna regions are becoming endangered due to human activities.
The illustrations are muted pencil crayon drawings over watercolor. Each double page features a different animal with the large picture split across the spine join. The remainder of the second page includes three 5 cm-circle drawings that illustrate a physical or behavioral adaptation of the animal.
While this book would be a good introduction to the savanna ecosystem, the information is limited and would not be a recommended resource for a research project. The comparisons of elephant’s weight to 13 pianos or giraffe’s hooves to dinner plates may be confusing to some children.
Recommended with reservations.
Sherry Faller is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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