Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Picture Book: Rumble in the Jungle

I came across another wonderful book from Tiger Tales called Rumble in the Jungle.   It prompted me to consider: What is the difference between the rainforest and the jungle?  Here is a quick overview:

Though jungle and rainforest might appear to be similar, there are differences between the two. A rainforest area is often surrounded by a jungle, with the primary difference being that a rainforest has a very thick canopy of tall trees, which make it very difficult for light to penetrate to the ground level making it difficult for plants to flourish. A jungle floor on the other hand will usually have a thick undergrowth of plants and vegetation.

Because jungles and rainforests are closely connected, they share some similar animals.  On the other hand, the rainforest has many rare plants and animals only found in that habitat that make it indispensable to mankind.  Read more at Difference Between.  

Summary of Rumble in the Jungle:  
As the morning light sifts through the trees, there is a rumble in the jungle and a whisper in the trees.  The animals are waking up!  The hidden narrator invites the reader along on a jungle expedition:

Some animals are frightening,
And some are sweet and kind,
So let’s go to the jungle now
And see who we can find...

Lots of funny, scary, and marvelous creatures are encountered on this extraordinary day trip—monkeys, big cats, zebras, gazelles, snakes, and much more.   Using free-verse poetic stanzas, each animal reveals a little about itself.  Here are a couple samples: 

It’s great to be a chimpanzee
Swinging through the trees,
And if we can’t find nuts to eat
We munch each other’s fleas!

The gorilla is big, black, and hairy,
And the thing that he likes to do best
 Is to look all ferocious and scary
And wallop his giant great chest.

The narrative concludes with the night falling on the jungle.  Animals like the vulture and the leopard are still slowly and softly moving about while many others are quietly dozing off.

Giles Andreae’s Rumble in the Jungle is a humorous rhyming safari.  The rich illustrations (by David Wojtowycz) are dynamic and delightful.  Oversized drawings make it a perfect read-out-loud book for classrooms and small groups.  Along with the bold pictures, children will enjoy the poetic verses and witty creatures.  I recommend this book for ages 3-8.  There are many excellent opportunities for extension activities and lessons from the basic (identifying animals) to the more challenging (learning the difference between the jungle and the rainforest). 

Teaching Opportunities:

  • Pre-Reading—Identify the animals and their sounds (where applicable)
  • Poetry—Read the individual stanzas to identify sound devices (rhyme, alliteration) and to discover information about each creature
  • Science—Read other books about favorite creatures illustrated in the book
  • Science—Teach the difference between the jungle and the rainforest habitats; identify animals that dwell in both
  • Language—Locate examples of onomatopoeia in the illustrations; discuss (or guess) the sounds of animals whose sounds are not revealed in the text
  • Art—Create animal masks using paper plates; have an animal safari parade around the class, house, or school
  • Writing—Compose a first person free-verse stanza for another animal in the jungle as a class or in small groups OR allow students to compose a first person stanza about themselves (can be done as homework with their families)

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