NONFICTION

Death Eaters: Meet Nature's Scavengers

40p. bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Millbrook. Oct. 2018. Tr $33.32. ISBN 9781512482003.
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Gr 4–7—Readers who enjoy the gross side of life (and death) will find this title to their liking. Halls begins with the death of a wild boar, and describes what and how the process of decomposition takes place. One chapter describes creepy-crawly creatures, such as blowflies, maggots, roly-polys, burying beetles, and meat ants. Furry animals, such as squirrels, skunks, and raccoons, hunt for their food, but are also willing to enjoy a free carrion meal. Halls also explains how various sea creatures help remove dead matter form the oceans. The author briefly describes "sky burials," which often take place in the mountains of Mongolia and Tibet in which a human corpse is offered to the vultures of the Larung Valley. (Family is permitted to observe the ritual, but tourists are not.) Burial at sea is also mentioned. Color photos of excellent quality vary in size, including full-page. Some captions are enlightening, while others repeat information already found in the longer narrative. White print in red boxes adds a great deal to the informative text.
VERDICT Though there may be many "oohs" and "yucks" from readers, this may well be a popular title. A top purchase for robust collections.

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