Filmmaker, photographer, naturalist Van Lawick has lived among wild animals in Africa for 25 years. He has observed at close quarters the large carnivoreslions, leopards, cheetahs; wild dogs, hyenas, jackalsand he spent six years with chimpanzees, documenting Jane Goodall's studies. This book is a distillation of his experiences that reveals his fascination with the predator-prey relationship. Van Lawick gives us splendid panoramic views of the Serengeti plains, but his most captivating pictures are of individual animals: a zebra foal, a mother elephant restraining her calf, a chimpanzee mother and child. He speculates on history's first predators, then organizes the text by areaforest, plains, bush and woodlandwith a separate chapter on apes. The book provides an engrossing glimpse of African wildlife. (October 1)
Among Predators and Prey is a splendid showcase for the work of this noted African wildlife photographer. Forty-seven of the 128 color photographs are double-page spreads and all pictures are reproduced in fine detail on quality paper. Drawing heavily on personal experience, the author also presents a portrait of his animal subjects in the text; it is an amalgam of the animal's evolutionary biology, role in the ecosystem, encounters with the photographer, and an occasional dash of anthropomorphism. The captioned photographs are mostly independent of the text, which does not provide any new material or depth on this topic. But overall this is a gorgeous book to look at and fun to read. Highly recommended for general and YA collections.Frank Reiser, Biology Dept., Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y.