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Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  118 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
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 a
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Millbrook Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Felicity Gibson
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dear Wandering Wildebeest
By Irene Latham and Anna Wadham.
Read July 5th 2014

I knew this book was going to be good with the alliteration in the title. That appealed to me. The word ‘Dear’ drew me in, as it softened the subject with an endearment in the first word. The title with one syllable in the first line, two syllables in the second line and then three for the final line was pretty clever. On page 2 the age is given from 8 years to 12 years. I feel that needs an extension, as my 9th Grade st
Janet Squires
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Latham offers young readers a window into life on the African savanna in this collection of fifteen entertaining and descriptive poems that chronicle visits to a life-sustaining waterhole. Lion, rhino, and giraffe each have their moment in the spotlight as do some lesser-known creatures -- dung beetles, oxpeckers, and nightjars as Latham follows the succession of life from sun-up to night fall. Sidebars provide additional facts. A glossary and additional reading rounds out the book.

Wadham's soft
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-3090-31-40
Summary: This book is a compilation of poems about different animals that live in the African Safari. Each page includes an accurate depiction of an animal in the African Safari. The illustrations bring the text to life and show readers just how beautiful life on the African Safari is.
Evaluation: This book does a great job illustrating the complex ecosystem that is the African Safari. Each page of the book builds on to the other. Readers get a well-rounded perspective of what life in nature, is
Makayla Graham
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summary: "Dear Wandering Wildebeest: And Other Poems from the Water Hole" is a compilation of poems depicting animal life in the African Safari. Each poem illustrates the lifestyle of animals from a more poetic perspective, instead of written in a narrative-style.
Review: I very much enjoyed reading this book of poems. I thought the author did an excellent job with writing each poem in such a way that they build upon each other to give a very deep perspective of the life on the African Safari fo
Jenna Paolazzi
Summary of the book: Spend a day at a water hole on the African grasslands, where you will learn about all different kinds of animals and how they interact within nature. Irene Latham's provides readers with beautifully written poems that provide details about certain animals and their environment. Read on to find out the different animals that are mentioned in this book and how they interact with nature

Evaluation of the book: I thought this book was only okay. Personally, I have never really be
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
This text consists of fifteen poems that highlight the lives of different animals who reside in the African grasslands and visit the water hole. Through the use of rhyme, onomatopoeia, and changing font styles, Latham encapsulates how each of the animals interact with their habitat. Additional facts accompany each of the poems that further describe the animals and their environment. Imaginative, watercolor illustrations illuminate this picture book, showcasing how every animal, whether big like ...more
Helen Costulis
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dear Wandering Wildebeest incorporates poetry into story telling about the animals that live in the same habitat. This habitat is the water hole and their are many animals that have different jobs within this environment. This story of poems incorporates the wildebeest, giraffes, oxpeckers, elephants, rhinos, owls, and safari ants and explains their role in protecting and keeping the water hole a great place.
Hillary Shutter
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This children's picture book written in poetry instantly draws readers into the fascinating world of the African watering hole. The collection of poems introduces readers to many unique animals as well as settings. The illustrations that accompany the poems also allows readers to visualize these beautiful stories, for example, elephants and giraffe's living peacefully with one another in order to obtain the most important factor to living, water.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Written and illustrated by the same people as "When the Sun Shines in Antarctica," Dear Wandering Wildebeest is set up in the same way, with poems and illustrations in the main body of the book and a glossary of new words in the back. I enjoy these books and feel as though they are very well made. Hopefully there are more in the series or more to come, because I believe that they are an effective way to teach children about animals in a fun and educational way.
Brittany Dean
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This collection of poems allows us to wander and visit the various animals interacting with the watering hole found within the African grasslands. Each poem is about a specific animal and how their day depends on the watering hole or those that use it. The pages also provide facts about the animals to give us better insight into their lives. The illustrations give the feeling of dryness but around the watering hole, plants an animals flourish along with the colors.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Dear Wandering Wildabeest is a collection of poems about animals who visit the waterhole in the African sun. Factual information is accompanied by witty poems about the animals that are seen by the waterhole. A wide variety of animals are introduced; from insects to elephants, it is clear that all of them depend on this source of water.
Rachael Fluke
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauralee Moose
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This children's story uses poetry to explore the animal life in Africa. The African grasslands are filled with unique diverse animals. This poetic story takes the reader through Africa to discover the life on these creatures.
Elaine Hoach
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A neat book of poetry that combines all the animals who use the watering hole
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This books talks about african animals in a poem. It describes them and gives information about them.
Teachable points: African animals, diverse animals
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Opening these young children's hearts to other animals in far away places is what the poems of Dear Wandering Wildebeest will help me do. How can each not become excited hearing the words from Irene's poem, Impala Explosion: "ears twitch/tails hitch" and "peace shatters/beasts scatter--", learning how quickly these animals can escape, probably from lions in wait. And then, later we hear from the Lioness, after the hunt: "She crouches,/slouches.//savors favorite flavors." Students will not only ...more
Last Ranger
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing

A Day at the Water Hole:

Award winning poet/author Irene Latham has put together a stunning children's book that will introduce early readers to the wonders of African nature and to the wonders of poetry as well. Teaming up with noted illustrator Anna Wadham, Latham provides us with a colorful and amusing look at the goings-on around a temporary African water hole over the course of a day. Starting out at day-break the reader will see a changing kaleidoscope of animals as the day progresses. Rhin
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-538
What a wonderful glimpse into the lives of wild animals living in the African grasslands! This collection of 15 poems also offers a brief description of each animal and their characteristics on the following page. This is an excellent way for students to learn about different styles of poetry and factual information of the animals at the same time. The beautiful illustrations by Anna Wadham bring the poetry to life as we journey to the water hole where we meet a diverse group of animals, ranging ...more
Merrilyn Tucker
Lovely and lively, this book of poems about animals living on the Serengeti is magical! Inspired by African photographer, Greg du Toit, Latham sets the poems in the grasslands of Africa, the native home to the animals of which she writes. Not all animals are included, but presumably the ones that are happen to be Latham's favorites. I can see enriching the reading of this book to primary classes with having children emulating the simple color pencil drawings/watercolor of the illustrator, Anna W ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST AND OTHER POEMS FROM THE WATER HOLE introduces a variety of grassland creatures who frequent this life-sustaining water source. Hesitating just long enough to satisfy their needs, Irene Latham expertly captures them in poetry while Anna Wadham reflects them onto the page with a lush and inviting color palette.

The fifteen poems in this collection are as diverse as the animal life they represent. Spare and evocative, serious and humorous, rhyming and free verse, enlighten
Jeff Corrigan
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This poetry book will take your kid on a trip to the savanna to experience all of the different animals that must frequent the watering hole. Each poem is accompanied by a factual paragraph on that animal. Although this book may appear to be a regular children's book please be aware that the reading age for this book is actually 8-12 years old. The vocabulary and comprehension is far greater than the colorful cover may lead you to believe. Overall, it's a great collection of poems surrounding a ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
What I like about this book is the obvious knowledge the author has of African waterholes and her willingness to include poems about the darker side of nature. The oxpeckers rhyme "Got earwax? Dead skin? We're the best! Deep wound cleaning upon request." Ok, it's not great poetry, but a few poems like this one and the Marabou stork eating a drowned wildebeest one go a long way to temper the saccharine nature of most children's poetry collections. Boxed animal facts accompany each poem and the il ...more
Cathy Hall
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh, I so enjoyed Irene Latham's poems from the waterhole! Her rhymes, her imagery, her playfulness and humor--the language of this picture book is perfect! And I learned quite a bit about the animals around the waterhole. DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST would be a wonderful addition to any picture book library, but an absolute must for the poetry loving kiddo (and the older reader who gets to share in the experience)!
Dear Wandering Wildebeest is a great combination of poetry, illustrations, and information. Through it, kids will learn about watering holes and the animals of the African grasslands. The illustrations are well done and fitting for the subject matter, the poems are kid-friendly and accessible, and the assortment of animals includes both the well-known and the more unusual.

Note: I received a digital copy of this book through NetGalley.
Carol Royce Owen
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Whether night or day, a watering hole is a place where all the creatures of the African grasslands come to get much needed, and sometimes scarce water. Each of the 15 poems in this book tell of a different animal, from giraffes to meerkats, vipers, impalas and rhinos. Information about each animal is told first in a poem, and then in factual report-style writing
RL Davis
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it absolutely! I loved the pictures and poetry.....I would have given it 5 stars if the wonderfully shared nonfiction facts had been on the left page followed BY THE POEM and not in, in small print, at the bottom as a footnote......having the facts first : that way the young reader would more appreciate the poetry, which is always a challenge generally anyway
Liz B
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
The poems were fine--nothing particularly clever or powerful. (And I do believe in both for small children as well as for adults). What I did like was the combination of poem, artwork, and information all on the same page. I think this would make a good readaloud for small children, either a class or just one. I don't think I'd use it for a model text for older kids, though--too thin for that.
This is a fun compilation of poems around a water hole on the African grasslands. Each poem features a different animal, focusing first on whimsical language, and then on an informational paragraph. I enjoyed the illustrations which capture the rich colors of Africa and the features of each animal.
Laura Phelps
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2014
A really beautifully illustrated book of poetry about the animals that you might find around an African water hole. With poetry on one page and short bursts of informational text on the facing page, this book would be great for discussions. Includes a glossary and extensive bibliography; I loved it!
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Irene Latham is a poet and novelist who was born the middle child and first daughter of five kids.

Irene has lived all sorts of places and traveled worldwide. Since 1984 she has called Birmingham, Alabama, home.

She thinks growing up with three brothers was great preparation for raising her three sons. She also thinks getting a sister was one of the best things that has ever happened to her.

Irene i
More about Irene Latham

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