You know what’s not exciting? What I eat. Unless, that is, you find my occasional switch between regular peanut butter crackers and the neon orange variety to be fascinating stuff. You know what is exciting? A bird that impales its insect victim on a thorn before making a meal of the poor little guy. In Time to Eat (part of the new Time to… nonfiction series) Steve Jenkins and Robin Page highlight the eating habits of wild animals – the unusual and the more conventional. Both make for interesting reading.
As far as nonfiction goes, this one belongs more on the pleasure reading side of the spectrum. Each spread highlights one or two animals and their dietary behavior. Some are fairly pedestrian, such as a Panda’s penchant for bamboo shoots, while others are odd, disgusting, or a mix of both. Case in point – the crucifix toad. This amphibian catches bugs on its mucous-covered skin, then sheds and eats it. Yeah, gross. Back matter includes a bio of additional facts for each animal.
The illustrations are standard Jenkins magnificence. His ability to capture the natural word through cut and torn paper collage is astounding, and Time to Eat is no exception. The small square format and basic text make it perfect for the intended lower elementary audience.
A nonfiction book (and series) that deserves a place in your collection.
Review copy from library
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