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Children's LiteratureSandra Markle uses the skills she has brought to her many animal books to interest readers in the life of the crocodile, denizen of the Nile River. Markle uses apt comparisons—a baby croc is as big as a baby chicken and grows in size to the length of an average-sized car—and covers what a young reader wants to know. Since crocodiles are known for their teeth, Markle explains how they are replaced when one is lost, and how their jaws work in eating. Vibrant photographs depict the crocodile resting, hunting, and hiding in the water. The photos of the crocodile eating are less bloody than one might expect since the crocodile first drowns an animal before shaking off parts to eat. Photos show the typical prey of crocodiles, some being eaten and some getting away. Questions in a section at the end ask the reader to go back to a certain page and notice features in the illustrations that they may have missed, a good strategy for "looking back," as the section is called. A glossary, a top-notch list of other books and videos to check out, and an index support readers and report writers in this strong entry in the "Animal Predators" series. 2004, Carolrhoda Books, Ages 8 to 12.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.