Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion by Galadriel Watson, illustrated by Samantha Dixon

814Kzz0afpL._AC_UY218_ML3_Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion by Galadriel Watson, illustrated by Samantha Dixon. Annick Press, 9781773213705, 2020

Format: ARC (hardcover available April 14, 2020)

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

 What did you like about the book? This is a wonderful book filled with fascinating facts, colorful graphics, and even a little bit of information about common machines–all centering around the movements of various land, air, and sea creatures. The book is divided into six chapters and each chapter features a different kind of movement. Chapters include “Land Crossing” (animals that move on land), “Keeping a Low Profile” (creatures that crawl), “Going Up!” (jumpers), “Staying Sky High” (those that soar and glide), “No Sinking Allowed” (creatures that live on top of the water), and “Underwater Experts” (those that make their home under the water). Each section shows not only how animals move but why they move that way–this can be for protection, finding food, travelling, or just simply surviving. We learn that even though a flea is very tiny but it can spring high enough to attach itself to a passing animal, Canada geese fly in a V-pattern to better communicate and to take advantage of the air created from the bird in front of it, how snakes move across the sand in a sideways motion to travel quicker, and how sea creatures use their fins to navigate under the water. We also see how the movements seen in animals relate to some machinery and devices we see every day. This includes how the spring legs of a kangaroo became the inspiration for the prosthetics that runners, how a turtle flips itself over is similar to how a lever moves heavy objects, how the cheetahs control their movement with their tail similar to a rudder controlling a boat, and how a gecko’s legs are positioned on its body similar to a strut that helps brace heavy objects.

This was an ARC so not all of the illustrations were included in the book but most of the pages did show colorful and detailed illustrations, along with movement arrows and swishes, that helped convey the movement of the animal.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be perfect for children ages 5-11. Some of the information might be too detailed for those closer to age five but I think any child who loves animals will enjoy this book. The back of the book encourages children to explore animals around them and notice how they move and I think that is appropriate and interesting for many children.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: January 6, 2020

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