Crocodiles: Built for the Hunt

9781491450383. ea vol: 24p. (Predator Profiles). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Capstone. 2015. lib. ed. $24.65.
Gr 2–4—A consistent focus on an appealing theme is the hallmark of this series. The text addresses features and behaviors related to predation, including body parts, senses, diet, and intelligence. Other attributes, such as caring for offspring or geographical range, earn mention only when they impact hunting. The predator's role in the food chain is not mentioned. Most spreads include one full-page photograph with another smaller inset, offering a good balance between key attributes, behaviors, and the actual capture of prey. Most images lack captions, which detracts slightly from the text in Snakes and Sharks, in which multiple species are shown but only some are identified. Fact boxes and an "Amazing but True" feature at the end of each volume add engaging content. Glossary terms are defined at the bottom of each page, which, thanks to the clean layouts, is unobtrusive.
VERDICT Above-average treatment of a high-interest topic.
Short two- or three-paragraph chapters accompanied by large, pertinent color photos clearly explain the concepts of predator and prey. The text focuses on the crocodile's hunting style: discussing the kinds of prey it seeks, the creature's size, speed, physical attributes, defenses against counterattack, and strategy. Fact sidebars and same-page vocabulary definitions are helpful design elements. Reading list. Glos., ind.

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