Plains of Grass
by Leslie Bulion
Illustrated by Becca Stadtlander
Award-winning science poetry master Leslie Bulion presents a lyrical salute to Africa’s Serengeti Plain, one of the most spectacular and productive ecosystems on Earth.
Price: $18.99
  • ISBN: 9781682631911
  • Publication date: 03/01/2022
  • Page Count: 48
  • Size: 10-7/8" x 9-1/2"
  • Age Range: 8-12


Award-winning science poetry master Leslie Bulion presents a lyrical salute to Africa’s Serengeti Plain, one of the most spectacular and productive ecosystems on Earth.

Leslie Bulion, a virtuoso science poet, has created a portrait of the rainy season on East Africa’s southern Serengeti Plain, offering young readers a compelling look at an ecosystem in motion.

Using a series of interconnected verses inspired by an East African Swahili poem form—the utendi—Bulion’s cadences and rhythmic lines mimic the web of life in the Serengeti, following the great migration of wildebeest, zebras, and others into and then out of the vast short-grass plain.

Lush, evocative gouache illustrations by Becca Stadtlander showcase the grandeur of this immense and complex ecosystem and provide close-up details of its wildlife inhabitants. Scientific notes on each spread and comprehensive back matter material offer more specifics. This, paired with Bulion’s brilliant poetic form, make the book ideal for cross-curricular learning.

Also from Leslie Bulion:
Amphibian Acrobats
At the Sea Floor Café
Leaf Litter Critters
Random Body Parts
Superlative Birds


Leslie Bulion


Leslie Bulion has graduate degrees in oceanography and social work. She has written parenting and education articles and is the author of several children’s books.

Becca Stadtlander


Becca Stadtlander was born and raised in Kentucky. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she earned a BFA in Illustration. She has illustrated a number of children’s picture books, including Sleep Tight Farm, The Greatest Table, and On Wings of Words.


“Attractive and informative, this will please browsers and information seekers alike.“Booklist, Starred Review

“The Serengeti comes to life in all its color and glory through illuminating verse, matter-of-fact narrative, and captivating illustration. Bulion once again makes science accessible and imaginative. . . . Stadtlander’s renderings embody the expanse through spectacular colors, shading, and brushwork. . . . A STEAM book in the truest sense as it ­inspires curiosity through art and science.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review

“The poems are scientifically informative (“wildebeests feast on shorter swards / oxpecker birds are stowaboards”), evocative (“butterflies flutter at nectar wells”), and a delight to read (“low-ground growth is nimbly used, / fleet gazelles nibble gnu-mown grass”). Another highlight is the thoughtful detail in the expressive paintings. . . . Stadtlander is especially gifted at portraying the beauty of the Serengeti at various times of day. . . . Charmingly illustrated and beautifully written. . . .”—Kirkus Reviews

“Bulion presents a vibrant picture of Tanzania’s Serengeti Plain and the animals and plants that reside there, employing lilting half-rhyme quatrains. . . . Rich gouache and pastel art by Stadtlander provides atmosphere through vintage-inflected depictions of wildlife and sweeping landscapes portraying the plains at different times of day and year. A reverent and educational portrait. . . .”—Publishers Weekly


Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Gold Award Winner —California Reading Association, 2022


Resources: Teacher's Guide

Educator’s Guide

More Details

BISAC 1: JNF051100 Juvenile Nonfiction – Science & Nature – Environmental Science & Ecosystems
BISAC 2: JNF051180 Juvenile Nonfiction – Science & Nature – Earth Sciences – Geography
BISAC 3: JNF042000 Juvenile Nonfiction – Poetry – General

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