Children's LiteratureWhen people see killer whales, in documentaries, aquariums, aquatic theme parks or movies like "Free Willy," it is easy to forget that, in order to flourish in the real world, orcas must be cold, brilliant, efficient hunters, preying upon animals like dolphins and seals. Markle's book, part of the "Animal Predators" series, features this aspect of killer whales, as well as their life within orca groups. When orcas hunt, they often give the younger, less experienced pod members a chance to gain proficiency. The young are also taught that all share in the kill. This book features photography so lovely and clear, it is as if the reader is right there with the pod. The book goes on to tell about how infant killer whales are born and nurtured in the family group, swimming closely in the adults' wake to save energy and for protection, learning to communicate as well as play. Adults teach hunting skills such as spyhopping (pushing their heads above water to look for prey), surrounding a school of herring or swimming into the shallow surf to catch seals. Text is beautifully written, including explanations about how orcas sleepwith half their brain awake at all timesand eat underwaterthroats are divided in two with one tube going to the stomach and one for breathing. The book includes a section called "Looking Back," which points out more information, a glossary, an index and a list of books and videos to learn more. This is one of the best books about killer whales out there, and a fine addition to a school, public or personal library. 2004, Carolrhoda Books, Ages 8 to 12.