The Wild Beast
by Eric Walters
illustrated by Sue Todd
Orca Book Publishers, 2018
$19.95 (hc), 32 pp, ages 5 – 10
In this picture book, the Creator tells the animals “Take what you need to live. Take no more. Waste nothing.” and follows her own teaching by creating the wildebeest out of leftover parts from the rest of her creation. Told as a pattern story with vivid linocut images, this picture book extends a familiar western creation story (darkness, light, stars, sun, earth, grass, trees, water, sky, fish, birds, animals) and extends it with a Kenyan legend that wildebeests were created out of the parts that were left over.
Classroom Connections: Teachers could use this text as an inquiry basis for comparing creation stories, animals throughout the world, or as an introduction to linocut art. The detailed pictures support fluent readers’ decoding of new vocabulary and provide rich images for students to absorb during a read aloud. Great for: read aloud, independent reading (Gr. 2 level), creation story comparison, stewardship of the earth. Reading Comprehension Strategies: Making Connections, Visualizing.
Review by Amanda Forbes.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue.