The Children’s Book Review | April 27, 2014
Age Range: 4-8 years
Hardcover: 40 Pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 20, 2013)
What to expect: Animals, Humor, Fun
A funny story about the (almost) soft side of nature’s predators, and the prey who don’t want to be friends with them anymore.
This story revolves around the difficult days of a Lion, a Shark, and a Timber Wolf who are tired of being feared by the rest of the animal kingdom. In a desperate bid to stop everyone else from fleeing at the very sight of them, the Carnivores decide to become…Vegetarians. This doesn’t work out very well: salad tastes terrible, and besides their teeth can’t do anything with it. Following a few more failed attempts at fitting in (including disguises, repressing their taste for rabbits, and just trying to quit, er, cold turkey) the Carnivores meet with a wise old Owl who advises them that eating meat doesn’t make them bad: it’s just who they are.
The lesson sinks in, and everyone feels much better. Except the Owl, whom the Carnivores decide to eat. After this, the Lion, Shark, and Timber Wolf go happily back to their predatory ways. All is right in the animal world, until the Timber Wolf and Lion eye the Shark and begin to wonder what Sushi tastes like.
Aaron Reynolds has written a great twist on the be-yourself book. The illustrations, by Dan Santat carry much of the humor, and your child will pick up on links between word and text on repeated reading. It’s the book my daughter always asks for first.
Add this book to your collection: Carnivores
About the Author
Aaron Reynolds has written many delicious books for kids including the Caldecott Honor Book Creepy Carrots. Though Aaron spent six years as a vegetarian, he is now a committed carnivore. He lives in Chicago.
About the Illustrator
Dan Santat is the illustrator of many acclaimed books and the creator of Disney’s animated hit The Replacements. He lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, a rabbit, a bird, and one cat.
Carnivores, by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat, was reviewed by Trevor Laurence Jockims.
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