Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the predictable alligator to the unexpected zapus (a meadow jumping mouse), the carnivores of this abecedary prowl, pounce, sniff and snatch their meals from nature's lively table. Twenty-six insects, mammals, fish and birds representing various North American habitats are each described in a few lines of text ("A damselfly dips and darts through the summer air, catching mosquitoes and midges...."). Powell's watercolor-and-ink illustrations separate the carnivores from their prey, who rest safely within boxed borders; the predators appear more as stuffed specimens than as full-blooded hunters. Though accurate, the text misfires with tired verbs that give no feel of the predators' instinct and cunning; it seems a misnomer to call these creatures ``bold.'' A fine-print glossary, aimed at adult readers, identifies prey and geographical habitats. Ages 2-6. (May)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Each letter of the alphabet is represented by an intricate, full-color illustration of a North American predator. The central figure is surrounded by a border that depicts the carivore's typical prey, which are identified in a glossary at the back. Text is minimal, presenting one statement about each animal. The illustrations are marvelous, accurate enough for use in a science curriculum (perfect for discussing the food chain), and beautiful enough to make the book a treasured possession.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Inspired by her graduate work on the predator-prey relationship in children's literature, author-illustrator Powell has created an unusual book on a topic that is fascinating to children. Large and enticing pen and ink drawings encourage children to look more closely. When they do, they see not just the predator placed in the center of the page, but also the predators' prey set in exquisitely designed borders. A watchful hawk perched on pine, for example, is surrounded by five of its prey, each one placed in its natural habitat, including a swamp-camouflaged frog. The book works at different levels: A 3-year-old can point and name at least one animal on every page, while adults can learn something new and interesting. It includes a place for children to discuss the connection between pictures, for an adult to lead discussions about habitat, camouflage, and predators familiar and unfamiliar who demonstrate the world's natural order. A glossary provides additional resources for continued learning on the subject.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A striking introduction to 26 predators. Each animal from alligator to zapus is depicted in its natural habitat. The surrounding smaller pictures feature its potential food supply. A glossary provides information on the range of the predator and lists the prey depicted. The stunning illustrations are worth admiring simply for their color and naturalistic detail. The fact that they convey so much information about ecological relationships enhances the book's value considerably. The serviceable, brief text summarizes each creature's feeding preferences, but the illustrations are what set the book apart and contribute to its worth as a valuable purchase.-Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN