Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess, and Deanna Nikaido
Illustrator: Joel Sartore
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books
Striking pictures of wild animals and elegant words twine together in a message to save our planet. Each page features a unique animal that is surrounded by words that describe it and surround it. In the middle section is a longer poem about the importance of our role in the life of our world and our influence on the survival of its inhabitants. On the last few pages the photographer and authors who collaborated on the book share their perspectives and inspiration.
The pictures are awesome and entrancing. Even without the pop of the words, it is worth lingering through each page. Children will thumb through this book over and over again to learn what each animal is and take a safe walk on the wild side. The words are a wonderful introduction to verse and haiku and are especially well adapted to each image. The poem in the middle provides cohesion to all of the verse and anchors it to the message of conservation and appreciation. This is an excellent and beautiful book.