Run for Your Life!: Predators and Prey on the African Savanna

illus. by Paul Meisel. 32p. Holiday House. Feb. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823435555; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823436149.
K-Gr 2—It is night on the African savanna, and all the animals are sleeping peacefully, preparing for another day of hunting or being hunted. As the day progresses, a wide variety of beasts hop, slither, dash, scurry, swoop, and flee across the pages to the right. And then, as evening begins to descend, all the animals encounter the ultimate of African predators, the fearsome lions, and it is a mad dash to the left across the pages as they run for their lives. Through simple sentence structure, Schaefer highlights the action, with the verbs taking center stage and providing lots of opportunity for fun, interactive vocabulary lessons ("Jackals pounce, and giraffes lope. Hyenas bolt, and wildebeests gallop."). The watercolor and acrylic artwork is full of movement and humor, as creatures leap across the page or hide in the background, their eyes always on their enemy. A brief introduction sets the stage, and some notes at the end share sprint speeds of all the animals depicted.
VERDICT A great resource for classrooms and libraries that serve the youngest elementary students.

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