Cover Image: Running Wild

Running Wild

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Member Reviews

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
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I've read my share of books about the amazing things animals can do. This is the first I've read, though, that really broke down how they can achieve those feats. More than just telling us about claws and muscles, Watson really breaks down the biomechanics of different movements. The language is very accessible, largely limited to a two syllable vocabulary and providing clear definitions for any unusual words. There are also comparisons to common objects and simple machine to assist the reader in understanding the concepts at play. I'd easily recommend this one to children and adults alike.
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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.

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the digital ARC of the book; these are my honest opinions after reading the book.
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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***
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Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion is a children's book written by Galadriel Watson and illustrated by Samantha Dixon. It is currently scheduled for release on April 14 2020.

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 motion. In this introduction to biomechanics 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. Its accessible style and design keep readers engaged, amd the illustrations and mechanical diagrams reinforce STEM concepts on each spread. 

Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion is a well written and organized book. I found the tone and writing style to be engaging, explaining things that I had not necessarily known before without being condescending or talking down to readers while covering some basic information and vocabulary as well. The balance of keeping readers from multiple knowledge starting points engaged with out leaving some behind or bored is extremely difficult, but Watson managed it quite well. I think the illustrations were very well done. They worked to further engage readers and enhance their understanding of the information discussed and the vocabulary used. I like that Watson included information on the research they did, and a few books from the researcher relied on most heavily in writing this book. However, I would have enjoyed some more suggestions for further reading and research for interested readers.

Running Wild: Awesome Animals in Motion is a well written, engaging book that will appeal to engineering, science, and animal lovers alike. It is informative and interesting.
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