Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Cheetahs, fast as the wind

It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday! 

It must be because cheetahs are the fastest land animal that they are so fascinating and heroes of the animal kingdom. Many times I hear children express that their favourite animal is a cheetah.

As I continue to explore the Amazing Animal series by Kate Riggs, I read Cheetahs (published in 2011). Like the first book in this series (Gorillas) I appreciated the format of this book. Photographs are full page and colourful and the text is a larger, less intimidating size. The end of the book includes an index, websites for further reading and a fun cheetah tale explaining why cheetahs have tear lines.

 Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There is a Book for that

Some interesting facts?

  • While most cheetahs live in Africa, there are some living in Iran.
  • Male cheetahs hunt together in groups called coalitions and these groups stay together for life.
  • Because it is all about speed. . . how fast are they? They can run up to 70 miles/121 kilometers per hour!

I know this book will be very popular once my students discover this series! It will be a book I frequently recommend as I know it can be read independently by most students in my room.

In our school library I found another nonfiction title on cheetahs: My Life in the Wild – Cheetah (A Life Cycle Book) (published in 2011)part of the Animal Planet series. Written by Meridith Costain and illustrated by Mick Posen.

 Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There is a Book for that

This book is divided into a narrative illustrated story about a cheetah growing up and back pages full of much more information. The illustrations are so true to life that they are almost kind of creepy – but I’m sure students would just find them very cool. The story is relatively easy to read for young readers and informative enough to hold the attention of little naturalists wanting to learn something new on every page.

“My brothers and I are born. I cannot see my mother yet but I can smell her. I snuggle into her warm tummy, drinking her milk. She licks my wriggly brother clean with her raspy tongue.”

The final pages include a full page glossary, more information and diagrams of other members of the cat family and key facts about cheetahs (scientific name, weight, habitat, etc). There are also four pages of Did you know? facts that accompany each illustration from the story. So, for example, the text above has a picture of a mother cheetah nursing and cleaning her cubs. In the back of the book the Did you know? fact is

“Cheetahs usually give birth to three to five cubs.”

Additional information is included about how the mother makes a nest, when the cubs begin to crawl, when their eyes fully open and how they make sense of the world before this. Other facts focus on how cheetahs hunt, fur markings, and differences between male and female cheetahs.

Other titles in this series that I know would be popular in my class: 

Animal Planet series  Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday There is a Book for that

My original goal was 60 nonfiction picture books for 2013. Progress: 35/60 complete

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2013!


Anyone have any favourite nonfiction animal series they would like to share?

4 thoughts on “Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Cheetahs, fast as the wind

  1. Thanks for this series suggestion! I have two nonfiction series that I have been recommending to teachers at my workshops recently: Nicola Davies (love her!) has a great interactive, lift-the-flap animal series for younger children that includes “What Will I Be?” “Who Lives Here?” and “Who’s Like Me?” And I also love Steve Jenkins’ (love him!) animal series, again for younger readers, that includes “Time to Eat”, “Time to Sleep”, “Time to Bath”.

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