The Race is On!
By Eileen R. Meyer, Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum
Mountain Press Publishing Company, $12.00, 36 pages
If animals from all over the world lined up for a race, which one would win? And how fast would the winning time be? In her book Who’s Faster? Animals on the Move, Eileen R. Meyer helps kids understand the difference between the ways different species move. A furry sloth creeps along the rainforest floor at a quarter-mile per hour! Who’s faster than a three-toed sloth? A deer mouse that clocks in at eight miles an hour! Many people know that the cheetah is the fastest land mammal, but which animal is faster?
Readers will quickly catch on to the book’s pattern (animal, question, animal, question) and will likely help read the words aloud. Meyer uses unique and descriptive adjectives to describe each new animal (a thin-whiskered deer mouse, pearl gray elephants, chestnut-patched giraffes and silvery blue sailfish). Constance R. Bergum’s watercolor illustrations are beautifully rendered and capture the animals’ graceful movements and their various habitats. Where do humans fit into the 14-animal line-up? An appendix provides more information about each animal and about speed. A 24-page activity guide for teachers, parents and librarians can be found online and used to supplement the book.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin