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Carnivores

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Overview

The lion is king of the jungle!
The great white shark is sovereign of the seas!
The timber wolf is emperor of the forests!

But . . . it's lonely at the top of the food chain. It's difficult to fit in when plant eaters can be so cruel—just because you ate a relative of theirs that one time! What's a carnivore to do? Aaron Reynolds's roaringly funny text is perfectly paired ...

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Overview

The lion is king of the jungle!
The great white shark is sovereign of the seas!
The timber wolf is emperor of the forests!

But . . . it's lonely at the top of the food chain. It's difficult to fit in when plant eaters can be so cruel—just because you ate a relative of theirs that one time! What's a carnivore to do? Aaron Reynolds's roaringly funny text is perfectly paired with Dan Santat's mouthwatering illustrations, creating a toothsome book that's sure to stand out from the herd.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Carolyn Juris
Dan Santat's animation background—he created the Disney television series The Replacements—manifests in his wild-eyed, mixed-media illustrations, which look as though they could bound right off the page and onto the screen. Reynolds…here takes a turn for the dark—and then goes darker still…This is no sweet story of finding one's muse or looking beyond appearances; instead, Carnivores puts a somewhat macabre spin on the "follow your heart" theme, and it also imparts a corollary: "Listen to your stomach."
Publishers Weekly
The lion, the great white shark, and the timber wolf are tired of being disrespected by those lower than them on the food chain. “The wildebeests call him ‘bad kitty’ just because he’s eaten half the neighborhood,” says the sympathetic narrator of the lion. “It hurts. It really does.” They try vegetarianism, only for the wolf to discover, “Every single berry bush seemed to have a bunny inside.” They disguise themselves as upstanding members of their preys’ species, but the great white shark can’t resist turning a pod of dolphins into takeout. Leave it to a wise great horned owl to give the hapless trio sage advice on living as meat-eaters: own it. Reynolds (Creepy Carrots) and Santat (Crankenstein) do likewise, making the most of their flair for comic timing, visual exaggeration, and spoofing everything from foodie trends to self-actualization. Clearly, there’s still plenty of room in the irreverent and decidedly Darwinian humor territory pioneered by the likes of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"An irreverent, toothsome tale championing self acceptance."—Jama Kim Rattigan, Alphabet Soup Blog

"Will young readers swallow such a tongue-in-cheek take on the importance of self-acceptance? With relish."—Kirkus Reviews

"Will be a favorite for rowdy read-alouds. chuckle-inducing from cover to cover."-School Library Journal

"The underlying theme for young readers, of course, is being yourself and accepting who you are."—Reading Today

"Irreverent and decidedly Darwinian humor pioneered by the likes of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith . spoofing everything from foodie trends to self-actualization."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

School Library Journal
09/01/2013
K-Gr 2—The cartoon animals in this picture book bear a distinct resemblance to the expressive animals of the big screen. These wide-eyed carnivores have a peculiar problem: their feelings are hurt because the other critters do not appreciate their eating habits. The humorous text follows a great white shark, a timber wolf, and a lion as they strive to fit in. At first, they think becoming vegetarians will help. They even form a support group. But despite their efforts, they realize they just can't change their appetites. Then, they don disguises and try to blend in, but their socializing attempts end poorly. A wise, old owl explains, "I'm not bad. I'm a carnivore. Eating meat is just what I do." The three predators like the advice so much that they eat the owl. The adorable bunnies don't fare well either. This book is not for the squeamish. Part personal acceptance mantra, part no-holds-barred buffet, it's funny in the same vein as Michelle Knudsen's Big Mean Mike (Candlewick, 2012). While not all readers will like the food-chain cruelty or enjoy the sometimes mixed messages, this will be a favorite for rowdy read-alouds. The well-paced text moves quickly and is paired deliciously with the bold, colorful illustrations. The grizzly heroes even eat the animals in the endpapers. Grim and chuckle-inducing from cover to cover.—Leila Sterman, Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Poor carnivores, perched atop the food chain and dissed by all their victims--at least, the prospective ones. What a pity. Brought together by their hurt feelings, a lion ("The wildebeests call him ‘bad kitty' "), great white shark ("simply a fast eater") and timber wolf ("almost never eats little girls") take up vegetarianism in an effort to fit in and then try donning disguises. When neither strategy butters the biscuit, they turn to a great horned owl as a carnivore consultant. Proving himself as wise as he (later) is delicious, the owl leads them to a healthier attitude, to wit: "I'm not bad. I'm a carnivore. Eating meat is just what I do." Surrounded by pastel bunnies and other wide-eyed prey in Santat's big, comical illustrations, the three caricatured predators quickly go from slump-shouldered gloom to toothy, confident smiles as they realize the folly of judging themselves through the eyes of others. Will young readers swallow such a tongue-in-cheek take on the importance of self-acceptance? With relish. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811866903
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 8/20/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 122,380
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 11.14 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Reynolds has written many delicious books for kids including the Caldecott Honor Book Creepy Carrots. Though Aaron spent six years as a vegetarian, he is now a committed carnivore. He lives in Chicago.

Dan Santat is the illustrator of many acclaimed books and the creator of Disney's animated hit The Replacements. He lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, a rabbit, a bird, and one cat.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2013

    [Taken from the inside cover] THE LION IS KING OF THE JUNGLE!

    [Taken from the inside cover]

    THE LION IS KING OF THE JUNGLE! THE GREAT WHITE SHARK IS SOVEREIGN OF THE SEA! THE TIMBER WOLF IS EMPEROR OF THE FOREST!

    But… It’s lonely at the top of the food chain. It’s difficult to fit in, when plant eaters can be so cruel-just because you ate a relative of theirs that one time! What’s a carnivore to do?

    “I’m not bad…eating meat is just what I do”

    If you ever felt bad for that zebra being chased by the lion, this is the book for you! Carnivores are so misunderstood! I LOVED this book! It’s hilarious! I love it when I read such unique picture books! The carnivores try to fit in with the other animals – going vegetarian, wearing costumes, etc., and all with hysterical results! Everything about this book is uproariously funny – the book jacket, the end pages, ending, text, illustrations, everything! I love the emotions on faces in the illustrations! Dan Santat’s illustrations are awesome and Aaron Reynolds story is one you will want to read again and again.I like the idea of the top-of-the-food-chain carnivores being misunderstood. I really enjoyed how the “plant eaters” act!
    *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Funny

    It was funny

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    Just hilariously fabulous!

    Made me laugh!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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