Running Wild gives readers ages 6-10 new appreciation for the immense variety and careful design evidenced in animal motion.
Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion by Galadriel Watson, illustrated by Samantha Dixon. Annick Press, 2020, 59 pages.
Reading Level: Picture Book, ages 6-8
Recommended for: ages 7-12
Basically, all motion is a physics problem. In organic creatures, the proper term is “biomechanics.” That’s a new word for me, but this picture book packs lots of information I hadn’t considered. Rather than marching through various phyla highlighting their unique manners of motion, the text considers types of motion (such as hopping, swinging, crawling) and chooses examples from across the animal kingdom whose peculiar construction allows them to move in their own way All animals, including humans, have to contend with natural obstacles like gravity and friction. But each animal’s bone structure, muscle arrangement, or protoplasm allows it not only to survive, but thrive.
For example, the lungs of a kangaroo allow it to hope for hours and never get tired. A flea’s spring-loaded legs can propel it all the way to the back of a passing dog. A cheetah’s big heart pumps extra energy while its springy- S-shaped spine adds length to each bound. Evolution is mentioned no more than twice, making this an inspiring read for appreciating God’s amazingly various creation.
Overall Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Worldview/m oral value: 3.5Artistic/literary value: 4.5Elsewhere at Redeemed Reader
Do we have animal books, or what?? A tiny sampler: Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World, The Beetle Book, and The Animal Book, a 200+ page compendium that might be a must-have. (All these are by Steve Jenkins, a name worth knowing for animal enthusiasts.)
For a different perspective, involving both poetry and music, see our review of Jack Prelutsky’s Carnival of the Animals.
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