A Komodo dragon may not look like much of a killer animal but the real danger lies inside its mouth Learn how the world's largest lizard hunts for its next meal
With each volume setting up for the kill and ending with a spread of the subject ready to strike again, these books make an all-out attempt to grab readers' attention. Incorporating the in-your-face photography and captions (such as "Underwater Spy" in Crocodiles ) associated with extreme TV, they mostly succeed. While no gruesome fact is spared (a spread of blood-covered Komodo Dragons lustily enjoying their meal comes to mind), the animals are shown to be not necessarily vicious. Each book ends with a breakdown of how the subject actually contributes to the ecosystem because of its predatory lifestyle and an explanation of how the creatures' perceived danger to humans is usually a misunderstanding. These are exciting reads-even the photo-diagram labeling the parts of each animal is an action shot. Vocabulary terms are defined at the foot of the relevant page and repeated in the glossary. While the use of "black space" is quite effective in creating a tone of danger throughout, it sometimes obscures the photos, many of which are up-close and chaotic. All the same, these titles will appeal to thrill seekers and young researchers who like to walk on the wild side.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Meet the Author
Janet Riehecky is a longtime writer for children. She has worked as a high school English teacher, a college professor, and a children's book editor. Her 24 volume series Dinosaurs! won the Summit Award for Best Children's Nonfiction, presented by the Society of Midland Authors, and her Tasmanian Tiger was a Junior Library Guild selection. Janet loves to collect dinosaur bones. On a dig in western Colorado, she dug up the first bone found of a brand new dinosaur, the Mymoorapelta.
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