Gr 3-6-- This survey of the life cycle and habits of the most conspicuous of our North American woodpeckers offers accurate, intriguing details presented in a brisk style guaranteed to keep young people reading. The text is enlivened by a short account of an incident with a typical predator, a black snake. The mostly full-page, color photographs are unusually clear and eye-catching, and the one diagram included, illustrating the function of the bird's tongue, provides information in an appealing way. However, the captions for these items add nothing to the text, and the chapter headings (``Knock, Knock, Who's There?'') are more cute than informative. Also, Pembleton is overly reliant on exclamation points to alert readers to unusual facts, and the definitions in the glossary are occasionally less than clear, sometimes requiring more background than might be expected by the appearance of the book. In one instance, the term ``zygodactylous'' (having two toes pointed forward and two toes pointed backward) is defined one way in the text and glossary and a different way in the accompanying photo caption. In spite of these shortcomings, there is no other single volume available on this remarkable bird, and Pembleton's conservation-minded message about an animal once almost extinct is an important one. Report writers will appreciate the two pages of summarized facts and the index. --Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, Conn.