CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 37. . . .May 24, 2013
And the Winner Is... is an interesting look at the athletic prowess of various creatures from the animal kingdom. Animals compete in events including high jump, swimming, weight lifting, and the marathon. Readers have the opportunity to guess which competitor will win each event. Upon turning the page, the winner is announced by the Cockatoo and Walrus sports commentators. Additionally, a comparison is provided against the human performance too. For instance, once the sprinting abilities of a Brown Hare, an American Quarter Horse, an Ostrich, and a Cheetah have been compared (and the winner is the Cheetah, who can reach speeds of 112 kilometres per hour), readers learn that the fastest time for a Cheetah over one hundred metres is 5.95 seconds, compared to the fastest 100m sprint by a man of 9.58 seconds (which, incidentally, is Usain Boltís time but this is not mentioned in the text. I think it would have been nice to include a final page of footnotes detailing the source of the various records and measurements included in the book).
Additional information is included for each animal involved in the various World Animal Games events. Information is provided about the animalsí diets, habitats, and worldwide distributions.
Etta Kanerís informative text is complemented by David Andersonís colourful and occasionally humorous illustrations.
And the Winner Is... is a playful yet enlightening book that will appeal to young readers who enjoy animals or sports. It will appeal also to children who enjoy learning facts. Children often wonder which animal might win a race or a fight or a test of strength. And the Winner Is... provides some answers to the questions children have been asking for years.
Dr. Gregory Bryan is a professor of childrenís literature and literacy education at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
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