Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

And the Winner Is...Amazing Animal Athletes

And the Winner Is...Amazing Animal Athletes

Etta Kaner
Illustrator:  David Anderson 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Kids Can Press, 2013   ISBN: 978-1554539048

Welcome, welcome to the World Animal Games (WAG). Animal athletes from around the world are going to be competing, and Walrus and Cockatoo will be your hosts for this exciting event. Many of the events will be familiar to you and they include the high jump, sprinting, and swimming.

We begin with the high jump. Since the athletes are so very varied in size, they will be judged on “how many times their own height they can jump.” The contestants are a flea, a puma, a klipspringer, and a red kangaroo. Each athlete does his or her best and the winner is…. drumroll please…the flea! The flea? Yes indeed, the flea is able to jump one hundred and fifty times its own height. The best human high jumper can jump less than two times the jumper’s height.

The next event is the sprint. At the starting line is a hare, an American quarter horse, an ostrich, and a cheetah. This time round you will probably be able to guess who is going to be the winner. Yes folks, the cheetah wins the medal. The cheetah can run the one hundred meter dash in 5.95 seconds. The human record for this distance is 9.58 seconds.

On to weight lifting, and I think you are going to get a surprise this time. The competitors in this event are an African elephant, a rhinoceros beetle, a leafcutter ant, and a gorilla. Who is going to be the winner is this challenging event?

Young readers who are interested in sports and animals are going to thoroughly enjoy this cleverly presented book. The narrative is engaging and often amusing, and the pages are packed with interesting facts and figures about animals. Amusing illustrations bring the games to life, and comments from the animal audience will delight readers who enjoy word puns.