Gift Guide



Offering fascinating insight into life in the grassland, this book follows a hyena through its day as it sleeps, eats, and moves.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $3.05   
  • New (4) from $3.05   
  • Used (1) from $6.48   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


Offering fascinating insight into life in the grassland, this book follows a hyena through its day as it sleeps, eats, and moves.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise A. Lockett
Young readers will likely come to this book with preconceived notions about hyenas, from Disney's enormously popular The Lion King. However, the author turns attention to the more familiar: a hyena "looks like a dog." The analogy is an engaging and useful reference point. This book offers fantastic, expressive photos as it illustrates the daily life of spotted hyenas in their grassland habitat. Part of the "A Day in the Life Grassland Animals" series, this book offers intriguing hyena details, such as that lions are afraid of them and therefore do not hunt them, that a group of them is known as a "clan," and that females (slightly larger than the males, typically) lead the clans. "Where do they live?" provides a great introduction to the grassland habitat: "It is mostly hot and dry here, but some months it rains a lot." The reader will become familiar with this description, which is used in all of the books in this series. The idea of seasonal cycles could be more clearly introduced in this text, which is focused on a distinct biome. In addition, the reader is never told the difference between a "hyena" and a "spotted hyena," a specific species that actually differs significantly from other hyena types. Rather, the text jumps between the terms as if they are interchangeable. Additionally troubling are superfluous exclamation marks, as in "[F]emale hyenas are leaders of the clan!" Are we shocked? Jubilant? The strength of the series is its ability to draw the young reader into the animal's lives through interesting and sympathetic details and photos. One instance is the evocative section in which the author describes how hyenas mark their territory with scratches and smells particular to their clan. Further information about hunting behaviors includes the fact that hyena's strong teeth enable them to eat bones, and that "they eat so many bones that their droppings are often white." The author engages the young reader's senses with such details. She later shares the fact that hyenas make giggling noises when excited. The most compelling photos are likely those of the hyena pups. Again, however, the author misses the opportunity to introduce a useful word such as "mammal," noting instead that the babies drink milk from their mother. This series continues to define "female" as "an animal that can become a mother when it is grown up" and "male" as "an animal that can become a father when it is grown up"; this is not only biologically inaccurate, it is also possibly confusing to the young reader and overly anthropomorphic. The hyena young learn to hunt from their mothers at around one year of age. Because they hunt at night, the nighttime is described before the day. This ordering may confuse the young reader, although it also occurs in the Coyote volume of this series. That there are no nighttime photos in the two-page section on night activities is disappointing. Otherwise, the photos generally assist in the development of the text and are often visually stunning. One striking photo depicts three hyenas cooling themselves in a pool of water; this is perfectly paired with the text, which discusses their drinking water needs. Reviewer: Denise A. Lockett
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Louise Spilsbury is a very experienced author of nonfiction books for young people. Her writing covers a wide range of topics from animals and science to history and social studies.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)