A squid jets through the ocean like a rocket. A cheetah races after a zig-zagging gazelle. A fishing spider walks on water with its eight hairy legs. All animals must move. Whether on the hunt for something to eat, on the run from being eaten, or in search of a mate or a safe place to live, their lives depend on marvelous motion!
In this fascinating introduction to biomechanics, seasoned non-fiction writer Galadriel Watson draws on biology, physics, and other sciences to show readers the incredible ways a variety of creatures move to meet their everyday needs—and overcome the physical forces working against them. An accessible, lively style and dynamic design will keep readers engaged, while Samantha Dixon’s energetic illustrations and mechanical diagrams reinforce STEM concepts on each spread.
Galadriel Watson has been writing since childhood, when she penned the spellbinding “Amy Goes to the Olympics”—typed by her grandmother on a manual typewriter, illustrated by Galadriel herself and bound in green construction paper.
She has since honed her skills through years of practice, plus through her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she won the 2016 Penguin Random House/Hazlitt Award in Creative Writing. She also has a Bachelor of Arts With Distinction in Writing from the University of Victoria, plus completed Humber College’s Creative Writing by Correspondence program.
Her 24th non-fiction book for children, Running Wild was published April 2020 by Annick Press and is a Kirkus starrred review. Her previous book, Extreme Abilities, published April 2019 by Annick Press, was nominated for a 2020 Yellow Cedar Award. She has also published over 50 articles for children in magazines like Brainspace, Muse and Ask.
Her writing for adults and comics have been published in places like The Globe and Mail, Discover magazine and The Washington Post.
If your child loves learning about animals or you are looking for a book about animals to use in your homeschooling this is a great choice.
The book talks about how animals move but it goes beyond saying kangaroos hop and cheetah’s run.
The kangaroo spread shows how they “use their muscle power to create thrust and fight gravity.” It shows how they use their tail “as an extra leg.” It shows how the kangaroo’s lungs help them breathe while they are doing all that jumping. It also shows how the kangaroo inspired “prosthetic legs for runners and other athletes.”
The snake spread shows how snakes weave when they move and how “if the ground is smooth the snake can’t go anywhere.” Snakes can’t push against sand so snakes move differently across sand. It’s shown how snakes move in tight spaces, how big snakes shimmy and how and why snakes “chillax” in the tree branches.
The book is separated into types of movement such as:
walking, running and hopping crawling climbing, swinging and jumping gliding flapping and hovering rowing, walking on water and staying buoyant undulating, using hydrofoils an
I have always been a fan of children's nonfiction but in this particular case the book just seemed way too much and I found myself constantly checking to see how many more pages I had to go before closing it. What makes it funnier for me is the fact that my sister posted on FB something about what atheists believe in and that includes no magic but the magic of reality (oxymoron anyone?).
I am not sure why I wasn't fascinated with this read about biomechanics since as the author states biomechanics can be interesting and fun. I think what was my stopping point was the whole factual tone presentation of this book. At times the author even seemed to think twice by adding some fun sounds before dropping back into the dreaded Stein voice.
The longest parts of the book were the introductory sections that dived into exploring many creatures and the conclusion of the book. Otherwise the presentation of the animals wasn't bad and was actually quite brief paragraphs that were unfortunately quite heavy. And the off-sides where it actually showed little diagrams of what machine components resembled these animals may have been a fun addition in an otherwise rough book.
In the end the best part of the book itself was the illustrations that were brightly colored, detailed and pretty realistic for its medium. There was one or two spots that hadn't been colored and an editor's note possibly about the gecko illustration that may or may not change upon the release of the book. Not quite sure what the original illustration was for the gecko but I preferred the one climbing the tree instead of just standing on a rock.
All in all this was a book that could possibly be used in bits and pieces in a science read or classroom. If you do use it as such give children the opportunity to get up and be interactive to see if, perhaps, they can mimic these moves as well. As for me I think I may look for another biomechanics read.
***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
Thanks to Annick Press and Galadriel Watson for sharing and advance copy of Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion with the Kid Lit Exchange., due to be released 4/14/2020.
I’ve always been a fiction lover, so it took me by surprise when my children truly enjoyed nonfiction. When I became a teacher, weekly library visits revealed that my kids weren’t the only ones - MANY of my students check out nonfiction books every single week. Now, as a grandma, I see the same love of informational lit in my grandchildren. I’m still a fiction girl, but it’s easy to see that nonfiction is the perfect match for the boundless curiosity of children.
Running Wild, illustrated by Samantha Dixon, is aimed at older children, and teaches them about all of the ways animals move.
Walking, running, hopping, crawling, climbing, swimming, jumping, gliding, flapping, hovering, rowing, walking on water, staying buoyant, undulating, using hydrofoils, and shooting with jet propulsion - all of these are covered, using common animals such as penguins, fleas, and chimpanzees as examples.
The text is broken into digestible pieces with clear headings and subheadings that allow readers to easily find particular information.
The author finishes up by offering ways this newfound knowledge can be applied in the real world.
This book is a great next step for kids who love learning about animals and want to go beyond the basics of obvious physical characteristics, habitat, diet, etc...
This book about how animals move, incorporates simple machines and other phenomena to explain how the animal moves, and how it helps them survive in the wild. Great nonfiction title for the kids who really love animals and want to read every detail! #Galadriel Watson #RunningWild #NetGalley
My Thoughts The book is organized into six chapters based on the different ways animals move. I love the creative chapter titles like Land Crossings for those that walk or hop, Keeping a Low Profile for those crawlers, Staying Sky-High for well you-know-who, and Underwater Experts for those in the depths of the waters.
Watson effortlessly engages the reader from the very start, and teaches the basics of biomechanics while ensuring there is enough information for older readers too. I know I learned a lot here that I did not know before. Relating the mechanics of motion in animals to mechanics elsewhere gives a better and clearer understanding to the reader. For example, the book explains how a hoverfly is like a car because it uses clutches that engage/disengage to flap or make its wings still; or how turtles flip over by using the same principle as the lever.
Samantha Dixon’s colorful and detailed illustrations help enhance this understanding. Together, the text and drawings make this book an excellent and fun learning resource. And you will discover fun facts, new words, and much more!!
And love how it ends with an author’s note that tells the reader how we can use what we learn from biomechanics in multiple other ways to make our lives more efficient, effective, and interesting! The author leaves us with these wonderful words – ‘Keep wondering….. keep watching…. keep learning!’
In Summary A great book for all those young readers who love animals, science, and learning.
Thank you to @annick_press, the author Galadriel Watson, and the illustrator Samantha Dixon for sharing an advance copy of Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion with the #kidlitexchange network. This nonfiction middle grades book will be released April 14, 2020.
This book focuses on the different ways creatures move. It is divided into six chapters based on how the animal moves: 1) walking, running, & hopping; 2) crawling; 3) climbing, swinging, & jumping; 4) gliding, flapping, & hovering; 5) rowing, walking on water, & staying buoyant; and, 6) undulating, using hydrofoils, & shooting with jet-propulsion. Each chapter focuses on three to four different animals that move in interesting ways. The animals motions are broken down and described in scientific ways, but also in terms that are easy for younger readers to understand. The book is also fully illustrated.
This was a very quick and informative read. A lot of science is packed into these 66 pages. I like that the book includes biology, physics, and mechanics to describe the movements of the creatures. At the same time, the author breaks down the scientific terms in ways that younger readers can understand and also includes sidebars to describe certain concepts, like wedge or pendulum. I really enjoyed the different animals that the author chose to feature and think that kids will find them fascinating. Some of my favorites were the cheetah, gibbon, penguin, fishing spider, and the squid. I enjoyed learning about the science behind the different animals' movements and all of the colorful and fun illustrations. One thing I'd like to see more of is how the science of these creature's movements can be used as inspiration for other things. The conclusion and a few of the segments begin to touch on how studying animal movements are being used in other ways. For example, prosthetic legs for runners are being inspired by the movement of kangaroos and swimsuits are designed based on the scale pattern of sharks. I'd really like to see more of how understanding these movements can be applied to other things. Overall, this was a fun, interesting, and quick read. I think it is most appropriate for upper elementary students, but older and younger readers will also enjoy it.