Children's LiteratureEverything has a purpose in the natural world. Death is a part of life and is necessary for the continued existence of life for all animals. In Africa, jackals are part of the integral "clean-up process" in the life cycle of African animals. Markle documents the life cycle of a male black-backed jackal, from his birth to the establishment of his own territory with his mate. The author describes jackals' behavior and characteristics in detail, including how they forage for food and how they defend and mark their territory. The text itself reads like the narration of a television documentary and provides keen insight into jackals. Full-color photos show jackals in their environment and add depth to the narration. Included at the end of the text are a few brief paragraphs that encourage children to study the pictures more closely and notice how jackals act and display different characteristics in different situations. This title is part of the "Animal Scavengers" series. 2005, Lerner Publications Company, Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 2-5-Markle's overviews of jackals, Tasmanian devils, and wolverines skillfully mingle the sights, sounds, and smells of their worlds. She describes the challenges these animals face in foraging for food, maintaining a territory, raising progeny, and using physical attributes to survive in their specialized habitat. The full-color, full-page photos, all from a broad array of archives, clearly support the texts. Laurence Pringle's Jackal Woman (S & S, 1993) and Kathy Darling's Tasmanian Devil (HarperCollins, 1992) offer even more information. These titles are laudable for their readable texts but they lack the edgy brilliance of original photographs to match her smooth visual language.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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