From just before dawn until the last of evening the animals of the savanna engage in the dance of life. Predators stalk, prey scamper away. Predators swoop, prey vanish into the undergrowth. Sound is in the air. But in the end, one predator wins out. The lioness gets supper for her babies. And that's the way it must be in the savanna. Each animal does what it must do to survive and for their species to survive.
Sounds of the Savanna, places the qualities of sound--volume and pitch into the mouths of the residents of the plains. Wildebeests hear a lioness across a lake as if she's next to them because sound waves are diverted by a colder temperature layer over the lake. It introduces animals' use of supersonic and supersonic sound for communicating, for navigation and prey location. Elephants rumble over long distances. Bats use echo location. The story is as full of sound as it is full of the struggle to live.
"Can you hear that? It's the book, Sounds of the Savanna.This informational book provides readers with a glimpse at many of the animals living and communicating on the Savanna plains. The beautiful illustrations jump off the pages and the large bold print makes it easier for those new readers to enjoy. The book contains many facts about these African animals and would be an excellent addition to any classroom."
"The nicely rounded narrative begins and ends with the lion family. Activities and sounds of wildebeests, elephants, vervet monkeys, baboons, zebras, spiny mice, and yellow-winged bats are described in a simple text. Also pictured and mentioned in the backmatter are a python and a milky eagle owl. The animals are clearly identifiable in the illustrations (produced digitally with watercolor embellishment), which also reveal the progression of the day, from dawn through nightfall, spread by spread...The variety of sound words used will please teachers, as will the four pages of backmatter, which include additional explanations, hands-on activities, and a predator/prey quiz. A Spanish-language version is also available."
"This curious but intriguing pairing of science fields from the publishers of Darcy Pattison and Kathleen Rietz's Prairie Storms (2011) and Desert Baths (2012) will be equally welcomed in libraries and classroom collections. (Informational picture book. 5-9"
Horn Book Guide - April 2016
From a lion's roar at dawn to the terrified shriek of a captured baby baboon at noon to the high-pitched sounds of bats hunting at night, the savanna is brought to life through evocative descriptions of a day's animal sounds...
"Sounds of the Savanna" is a sensory exploration of the world of communication patterns of night and day sounds that are made by creatures of the African savanna. An exciting sequence of described sounds, scenes, and actions unroll, bringing a day and night on the African savanna to life on the pages. Some of the sounds described are a lion's roar, the pounding hoofbeats of wildebeests, the trumpeting of elephants, the danger/alert signal cries of the vervet monkeys, the shrieks and grunts of a troop of baboons, the whinnying of zebras, the squeals of a spiny mouse, the high pitched sounds of the yellow-winged bat, and the soft contented purr of lion cubs when their mother brings home meat for them to eat. Then it is night, and once again all is quiet on the savanna. "Sounds of the Savanna" presents many animal noises as communication efforts, and in the added For Creative Minds Section, further explores the definition of sound waves.
Children's Literature - Fall 2015
This book is filled with information about animals and their sounds. The organization, which features a day from the morning to night, is easy to follow. Wonderfully rich illustrations accompany the text. Excellent end material is set for Creative Minds and induces text and pictures about sound waves. In addition is a page of sound experiments that helps readers feel sounds, make vibrations, and see vibrations. Another page explains high squeaks and low rumbles, and still another page talks about predators and prey. Photographs accompany all back matter. This is an excellent reference to add to science units about animals and sounds.
Science Books and Films - February 2016
Sounds of the Savanna is not a storybook, as such, but a science book relating a series of incidents involving animals in African savanna. The incidents illustrate animal predator-prey relationships, animal communication, and social structure, with some physics of sound thrown in. There is plenty to discuss about whatâ€™s going on and what might happen next on nearly every page. In addition, the authors provide additional material and activities about sound waves, and an activity about predators and prey. The illustrations are adequate to provide support to the text.--Lee Katterman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
"I really liked Sounds of the Savanna. The first thing I noticed were the beautiful illustrations. They are so detailed and the drawings resemble the real animals. I learned that elephants can make a low-pitched rumble that other elephants can hear from very far away. There are neat experiments in the back of the book to make, feel and even see vibrations. I liked the chart to show frequency and amplitude, when it compared the mouse squeal, bat squeak, baboon grunt and elephant rumble. I think this book is good for kids when they are learning about sound waves." Reviewed by Jewel, Age 7
"With beautiful illustrations of grassland animals, Sounds of the Savanna explores the different sounds that wildlife make. For instance, elephants make high-pitched sounds when they sense danger, and zebras also create a loud, high-pitched alarm for the same reason. This book helps young children understand the sounds of savanna creatures, and helps them identify what kind of animals live on a savanna."
"Sounds of the Savanna is one of the most beautifully illustrated books I've ever seen from Arbordale. The pictures are VIVID and the detail is amazing. I think my favorite pictures are the Vervet Monkey carrying her baby and the Lion...Loud & boisterous or quiet and squeaky kids will learn about Sound in the Wild: Sound Waves and the noises animals make High Squeaks and Low Rumbles. They will also learn about animal reactions to danger, about being predators and prey and how animals communicate with each other. There is a LOT of information in this book and kids will learn something new every time you read it to them."
Not only is this a fascinating way to learn about this wilderness area but the activities at the end of the book will also engage the reader in other ways. Ideal for a natural science unit or a way to discover some of the special features of the savanna, this inexpensive book will be an excellent resource for teachers and families.
"Author Terry Jennings paints a complex web of interactions within the landscape: predators and their prey, youngsters learning to hunt, parent and young ... all within the context of a day on the savanna...Since this book is all about sounds, Jennings includes four pages at the back that are full of explorations for curious minds: experiments with sound and vibration, a predator/prey sorting game, and more details about sounds that animals make."
Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media
...This is a day on the African plains, through the sounds an animal might hear from dawn until dark. Phyllis Saroff's lovely illustrations have a wonderful touch of reality to them. The text is evocative and tells small stories of life in this habitat. Extension activities at the end of the book include information about sound, and about predators and prey. Inclusion of Lexile Level and key phrases increase the book's utility in the classroom.