Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

And the Winner Is . . . : Amazing Animal Athletes

Kaner, Etta (Author)
Anderson, David (Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781554539048 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 590
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

figurative language, point of view, structures and features

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Express Award Nominee – 2014

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Animal lovers and sports fans alike will enjoy this book about animal abilities, how they compare to one another and to humans. Two commentators—a walrus and a cockatoo—provide the facts and stats as a range of animals compete in events such as the high jump, weight lifting, swimming, a marathon and more. Each section introduces the contenders in the event, offering readers a chance to guess before they turn the page and learn the winner. Children may note that insects do very well (high jump and weightlifting champions: flea and rhinoceros beetle). They may guess the cheetah as the best sprinter; this book explains why.

Realistic animals are depicted with cartoonish flair. On the swimming page, the sea lion glances nervously at the hungry Orca. The sailfish and Gentoo Penguin jump through the air: “It’s called porpoising. It uses less energy . . . . Orca is the only one shooting straight through the water. Will it hurt his game?” Comments and thoughts from competitors and spectators add to the fun.

Although human world records are outclassed in every event, the language urges youngsters to test themselves: “How far can you jump?” Altogether, this book is a humorous and informative celebration of athletic ability.

  •  

    Predict which animal will win each event. Answer the questions on some of the odd-numbered pages (e.g. How far can you jump?).

  •  

    Choose one of the featured animals and write three facts on a cue card. Have friends guess your animal.

  •  

    Imagine you are a winning animal. Write a witty response to winning the gold medal at the WAG games. 

  •  

    Read aloud some of Walrus and Cockatoo’s comments. Who are they trying to imitate? What is a pun? Find puns in the text and discuss what makes them funny. 

  •  

    Read the story, stopping to predict which animal will win the event. Explain your predictions.

  •  

    List puns in the story such as “WAG” and “I’m hoarse from yelling.” Use resources to find the double meaning and humour of these puns.

  •  

    Take turns asking a partner the questions at the bottom of certain odd-numbered pages. Compare yourself to an animal in the book: I can/can’t jump higher than a . . . , I can jump as high as . . . Which animal is best in that sport?

  •  

    On a class map of the world, add illustrations of animals showing their home countries. Take turns talking about an animal; its classification, habitat and food. Where possible, explain why an animal would be best in a sport. 

  • Health and Well-Being
  • Physical Education and Health