Award-winning science poetry master Leslie Bulion presents a lyrical salute to Africa's Serengeti Plain, one of the most spectacular and productive ecosystems on Earth.
Leslie Bulion, a virtuoso science poet, has created a portrait of the rainy season on East Africa's southern Serengeti Plain, offering young readers a compelling look at an ecosystem in motion. Using a series of interconnected verses inspired by an East African Swahili poem form—the utendi—Bulion's cadences and rhythmic lines mimic the web of life in the Serengeti, following the great migration of wildebeest, zebras, and other animals into and then out of the vast short-grass plain.
Lush, evocative gouache illustrations by Becca Stadtlander showcase the grandeur of this immense and complex ecosystem and provide close-up details of its wildlife inhabitants. Scientific notes on each spread and comprehensive back matter material offer more specifics. This, paired with Bulion's brilliant poetic form, makes the book ideal for cross-curricular learning.
About the Author
Leslie Bulion has graduate degrees in oceanography and social work. She has written parenting and education articles and is the author of several children's science-related poetry books and novels. When she's not writing, she enjoys exploring nature with her binoculars, hand lens, and camera; collecting specimens to examine under her microscope; or going SCUBA diving and or kayaking. Leslie lives in Connecticut.
Becca Stadtlander, illustrator and fine artist has illustrated a number of children's picture books. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and currently lives and works in her hometown of Covington, Kentucky.
★ "The Serengeti comes to life in all its color and glory through illuminating verse, matter-of-fact narrative, and captivating illustration. Bulion once again makes science accessible and imaginative. . . . Stadtlander’s renderings embody the expanse through spectacular colors, shading, and brushwork. . . . A STEAM book in the truest sense as it inspires curiosity through art and science."—School Library Journal, Starred Review
"The poems are scientifically informative ("wildebeests feast on shorter swards / oxpecker birds are stowaboards"), evocative ("butterflies flutter at nectar wells"), and a delight to read ("low-ground growth is nimbly used, / fleet gazelles nibble gnu-mown grass"). Another highlight is the thoughtful detail in the expressive paintings. . . . Stadtlander is especially gifted at portraying the beauty of the Serengeti at various times of day. . . . Charmingly illustrated and beautifully written. . . ."—Kirkus Reviews
"Dramatic watercolors spread across the pages to convey the expanse of grassland. . . . Absolutely fascinating on many levels, the wilderness is brought to life even for readers living a world away from Africa via vivid language reflecting the stark sounds and sights of an ancient ecosystem in motion. ' . . . This nonfiction picture book is a veritable feast for a curious child 's hungry mind."—School Library Connection
"Bulion presents a vibrant picture of Tanzania’s Serengeti Plain and the animals and plants that reside there, employing lilting half-rhyme quatrains. . . . Rich gouache and pastel art by Stadtlander provides atmosphere through vintage-inflected depictions of wildlife and sweeping landscapes portraying the plains at different times of day and year. A reverent and educational portrait. . . ."—Publishers Weekly
★ "Attractive and informative, this will please browsers and information seekers alike."—Booklist, Starred Review