Text copyright © 2016 by Nicola Davies. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Petr Horáček. Images reproduced with permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press.

All April Picks

For Elementary Readers

Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals

On large pages filled with lush mixed-media illustrations, descriptive poems reveal fascinating facts about wildlife from around the world, generating appreciation for animals of every size, color, and shape.

Apply in the Classroom

Animals are everywhere and Song of the Wild will get students thinking about the staggering variety of wildlife diversity on this planet. But what do they know about the wildlife in their own community?

Take students on a walking field trip to a park or plan a visit to a nearby natural area to observe and identify local wildlife. Ask students to brainstorm and write about what they think could be helpful or harmful to the animals and their environment. Invite a local naturalist or park ranger to review and discuss their ideas and share some examples of what students could do to help wild creatures in their community.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

How are animals alike and different from each other?

How are the places animals live alike and difference from each other?

How are the places animals live alike different from places people live?

Why is it important to have many different kinds of animals in the world?

If you were an animal, what animal would you be? What would your ideal habitat look like?

Related Teaching Resources

Literature-Based Teaching in Science: Poetry Walks from Reading Rockets

Animals Around Us from Mpala Live!

Wildlife Lesson Plans at NEA

Biocubes: Exploring Biodiversity from National Museum of Natural History

Reading Is Fundamental support materials

Animals: Poems for Kids from the American Academy of Poets

“Chorus of Creatures” written and performed by Kwame Alexander

“Mariposa” animated poem read by Andy Garcia

More Titles to Try

Animal Ark: Celebrating our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures by Kwame Alexander  

Animal Poems of the Iguazú by Francisco Alarcón

Flutter and Hum: Animal Poems/Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales by Julie Paschkis

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar! edited by J. Patrick Lewis

Animal Poems by Valerie Worth

Animology: Animal Analogies by Marianne Berkes

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer