Foreword Review — May / June 2001
Most young children are fascinated with animals; what they eat and how they obtain food. The more bizarre the better. In Animals Eating, those children can read about some of these animals’ eating habits and gain interesting facts such as “the blue whale can grow to be longer than a basketball court.” Tidbits such as these are presented in sidebars on each page. The animals discussed are grouped into categories according to their feeding characteristics. Some of these groups include plant eaters, meat eaters, and animals that maintain a liquid diet.
The layout of the book is especially attractive. There is a great deal of information included about animals and their eating habits, yet it is presented in an accessible format. Bold colors on one page, softer colors on another, use of white space, bold type, and the bullets for the boxed facts all contribute to the pleasing design of the book. The color illustrations on the double page spreads are realistically done. The elf owl seems to be looking directly at the reader. Kids will be fascinated by the lamprey’s round sucking mouth with 125 sharp teeth.
Hickman has written several nature books for children and she uses scientific terms such as herbivores and ruminants and defines the terms within the context.
What makes this book stand out among the many animal books available are the activities that are included for children to try. After a description of the food chain and corresponding pictures, there are directions for the reader to construct a model of a food chain. In the section on animals who use their tongues to trap food there is an activity described on how to make a model of a frog tongue (How good is your aim?). Readers can compare their own teeth, stomach, and eating habits with those of other animals. This is an attractive, entertaining book for children. An index is included.