Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures

By: Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess and Deanna Kikaido

Photography by: Joel Sartore

Published: February 14, 2017

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


This amazing book shares the importance of taking care of our world for the animals that live in it. It gives our youngest children an introduction the idea that our actions matter and how the amazing creatures that live among us can disappear unless we do something to make sure they can live in a world that protects them.

Using a form of Haiku poetry (which I was reminded how much I loved and missed reading) the author describes the amazing qualities of animals next to detailed and vivid photography of that animal. With a photographic glossary of all the animals in the book, parents can teach their child the names and learn along with their child. From well-loved animals like pandas, tigers, and butterflies to those lesser known ones that are also near extinction like the Quokka, Common Yabby, and the St. Andrew Beach Mouse. Talking with your child about the location of these animals and why they might be vulnerable to extinction will help them understand the role they can plan in our ecosystem.

By describing animals through the creativeness of a Haiku gives each of the pages a unique twist. Some of them are silly, while others will make you pause to soak in the amazing characteristics of these animals. Children and adults won’t be able to turn their eyes away from the pages of full-color, stunning photos of animals. This really is a powerful story for toddlers and preschoolers. This book is an excellent way to introduce lyrical prose to young children as well as have a conversation about being kind to our planet and the animals that live in it.

Kwame Alexander – source

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include SURF’S UP, a picture book; BOOKED, a middle-grade novel; and He Said She Said, a YA novel.

Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program released by Scholastic. A regular speaker at colleges and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded.

ANIMAL ARK was inspired by the National Geographic Photo Ark, a multiyear effort with Joel Sartore and the National Geographic Society to document every species in captivity.

To purchase a copy of ANIMAL ARK, click the photo below:

To purchase the companion adult book THE PHOTO ARK: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama’s regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children’s and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the book through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Posted in


  1. bermudaonion on May 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I love Kwame Alexander so I'm not surprised this looks so good!

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.