Children's LiteratureThis graphically illustrated, action-oriented book shows a great white shark in her natural habitat as she eats, sleeps and gives birth to shark pups. As interesting to read as fiction, young people will hardly realize how much they are learning as they follow the shark responding to sounds she picks up though her special detecting sacs and smells she filters through her nasal sacs. Her upper and lower jaws, both movable, are thrust forward, baring her 2-inch teethalmost 100 of themas she attacks a seal. While she only wounds the first one, an older seal falls prey to this large but agile creature. The shark's body is efficient, enabling her to stay alert on a minimum of food, so that a seal can provide her with nourishment for up to two months, if necessary. She is attracted to the smell of blood, however, and will eat dead or dying animals. Shark pups in the mother's body will sometimes eat their brothers or sisters for food. Photographs are gruesome for younger readers but do give an accurate view of shark life. This book is part of a new "Animal Predators" series. 2004, Carolrhoda Books, Ages 8 to 12.
School Library JournalGr 3-6-These titles focus on what makes these amazing animals such skilled predators. Markle reveals how their bodies are built to kill; their physical characteristics and behaviors combine to give them a high level of efficiency. The role of camouflage is aptly explained in flowing text and illustrated in clear photography. Speaking of the great white, Markle states, "Her white belly lets her sneak up on prey looking up from deeper water toward the light of the sky. Her dark blue gray back keeps her camouflaged (hidden) as she slips up on prey looking down into the dark ocean depths from near the surface." In the second book, the author looks at a variety of owls, including the great gray, whose coloration "blend[s] perfectly with the tree bark." In both titles, the full-color photography bedazzles on almost every page, particularly in showing the owl babies. These solid additions are sure to appeal to young naturalists.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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