- USD 9.99
Welcome wildebeest / and beetle, / Oxpecker and lion. / This water hole is yours. / It offers you oasis / beside its shrinking shores.
Spend a day at a water hole on the African grasslands. From dawn to nightfall, animals come and go. Giraffes gulp, wildebeest graze, impalas leap, vultures squabble, and elephants wallow. Fact sidebars support the poems about the animals and their environment. Imaginative illustrations from Anna Wadham complete this delightful collection.
Fifteen poems celebrate the flora and fauna of the African grasslands, accompanied by background information and stylized illustrations from British illustrator Wadham, which draw out the personalities of the animals on parade. Latham doesn't ignore some of the hard realities of life in the wild: "Wildebeest down:/ weakling drowned/ during migration," begins "Calling Carcass Control," about scavengers; her ode to a lioness takes place "After the choosing,/ after the chase," as the sleepy huntress "savors favorite flavors" before falling asleep. There's also room for beauty and humor, as in a lighthearted ode to oxpeckers and the mammals whose ticks they happily eat: "Got earwax? Dead skin? We're the best!/ Deep wound cleaning upon request." An assured and often amusing grouping of verse that informs as it entertains. Ages 8 12.