When you go to Africa for camera safari, (which you should - don't let the fear of malaria, yellow fever, or ebola stop you) visit water holes. Almost all animals have to drink water at some point in the day or night, and water holes are where they find water in the drier seasons. These low pools are gathering spots for many species. Watching the wildlife traffic is entertaining and exciting, as Irene Latham attests in Dear Wandering Wildebeest and Other Poems from the Water Hole. This bright children's book is illustrated by Anna Wadham.
If you have been to savannah lands in Africa, you can vouch for Latham's descriptions of the animals and their behaviors. Impala do literally spring high into the air when frightened, as Latham says in "Impala Explosion"; it is quite a sight to see. Vultures, storks, jackals, and hyenas do squawk and snarl around the remains of dead animals, as she describes in "Calling Carcass Control." Drinking from a water hole is a risky necessity for giraffe, as she explains in "Triptych for a Thirsty Giraffe."
I thought "Oxpecker Cleaning Service" was the funniest poem. I'd enjoy reading it to a child.
An explanatory paragraph accompanies each poem. Latham includes a glossary of words that may be new to young readers in the back of her book. There was even a word that I didn't know (volplane), proving that this is a book that will benefit young and old.
Latham, Irene. Dear Wandering Wildebeest and Other Poems from the Water Hole. Millbrook Press, 2014. 33p. ISBN 9781467712323.