NSTA Recommends - Steve Canipe
"Snarling, biting, running, hiding, ripping teeth, sharp antlers, and slashing hooves... all of these terms are used, along with many others, in describing animals in the Predator vs. Prey series. Students in grades 3–5 will be intrigued by these books. Each sets up opponents as competitors in a contest—a life and death struggle depicted by beautiful action photographs of the predators and prey.
The adaptations of each competitor are described, as are their sizes, weights, and particular strengths. A color-coded world map shows the animals' locations; this could be useful in tying geography in with the science curriculum. Potentially new vocabulary terms are presented in bold type to make it easier to pick them out in the text. Some of the terms may already be familiar to older readers but to younger ones this is very helpful. Yellow "Did You Know" information balloons present interesting facts that are important to understanding the animal. In addition, there is a "Find Out More" section listing additional books and websites. The final pages of text describe the "winner" of the contest (with some surprises) and the odds of the predator catching the prey. Each 32-page book in the series ends with a traditional glossary and index, which will be useful to readers.
This is a great book series that will help get young students interested in science and at the same time dispel some myths (like the idea that wolves, sharks, and lions always get their prey). In Lion vs. Gazelle the description of the lioness doing most of the hunting is fascinating. The predatory behavior requires teamwork, and the gazelles also work as a team in their stotting behavior (jumping straight up) to warn the herd and let the lioness know they are too healthy to catch. The gazelles most often win this encounter by escaping. Being a carnivore, even a large and powerful one, is hard work. The adaptations in predators and prey are good lessons for elementary students. Every elementary teacher in grades 3–5 should have this series available for reading. It will promote interest in science in a broad array of students. Reviewer: Steve Canipe NSTA Recommends 2/23/2011" - NSTA Recommends
February 23, 2011