Here Is the African Savanna

Through cumulative verse, children discover how giraffes, lions, elephants, and many more animals are part of the web of life of the African savanna.

Author: Madeleine Dunphy
Illustrator: Tom Leonard
Format: Hardcover & Paperback
Pages: 32
Ages: 3-8
Grade Levels: Pre K - 3
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0977379538
Paperback ISBN: 978-0977379521
Price: PB: $9.95 • HC: $16.95
Where to Purchase:

Award Named an “Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children” by the National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) and Children’s Book Council

“This is an attractive, effective way to introduce ecology to young readers.” — The Horn Book Guide

“A lovely, circular, cumulative tale evokes the landscape and animals of the Africa savanna.  Dunphy’s wording is a pleasure to read, and her . . . . structure is musical. Leonard’s artwork is equally engaging.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A classic style of cumulative verse builds the text as it weaves the story of the food web of the African savanna. The strength and survival of the animals is illustrated by luminous paintings featuring the interdependence of each strand of the food web.” — Science and Children

Click to download “Here is the African Savanna” activity. Enact the African savanna ecosystem by passing a ball of yarn to and from each other to represent the relationships between the animals and plants in Here Is the African Savanna.

Click to view Educational Standards and Leveling Information.


Madeleine Dunphy

Madeleine Dunphy has studied and visited many of the world’s ecosystems, and was inspired to write books about our world’s great diversity of life. Her books have been published by Hyperion Books for Children, Millbrook Press, and her own publishing company, Web of Life Children’s Books—a publishing company devoted to publishing picture books about the environment. Madeleine is also a teacher, activist and mother. She lives in Oakland, California. For more information about Madeleine, her books, and her school presentations visit


Tom Leonard

Tom Leonard’s beautiful paintings have graced the pages of many children’s books including One Small Place by the Sea and One Small Place in a Tree by Barbara Brenner. His stunning artwork has been praised by Booklist as having “great visual flair,” and School Library Journal wrote that his colors “delight the eye.” He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Rose, and teaches at the University of the Arts. For more information visit