Creep, Leap, Crunch!: A Food Chain Story

Knopf. Dec. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593565520.
PreS-Gr 3–Shaffer’s newest book offers readers a lyrical view of a forest food chain. This rhyming story begins at sunrise, showing the sun providing light to help the trees and other plants make their food. Throughout the day, readers see how nature provides food for itself, from crickets eating the grass, mice eating the crickets, and so on until eventually they meet the king of the forest, the big black bear! The resiliency of these animals is also shown; sometimes they can make a quick escape from the larger animal who wants to eat them. The style of repetition in the story will attract fans who appreciate the cumulative events found in There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Neal shows a range of expressive colors in the illustrations, from calming pastels to vibrant brights, that help to expertly show the animals’ actions.
VERDICT This is an excellent introduction to the food chain, and will be especially popular among elementary science teachers.

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