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Monday, June 22
Written by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat
My rating: ★★★★½
Date of publication: August 20, 2013
Age: 4 - 8 years
Themes: self-acceptance, traits, support groups, animals, food chain
For the Great White Shark, Timber Wolf, and Lion, it's lonely at the top of the food chain. It's difficult to fit in when plant eaters can be so cruel—just because you ate a relative of theirs that one time! What's a carnivore to do?
Should I just create a Dan Santat Fan Page? I feel like that's what this blog is turning into. Because I LOVE his illustrations. But anyway, about this book specifically...
I laughed. A lot. Which always means high marks in my book. These "poor" animals are getting their feelings hurt and what are they to do? Santat's illustrations capture the emotions of the animals quite perfectly, with cartoon-ish brilliance, matching Reynolds hilarious (and somewhat brash) story line. Check out the lion trying to ignore the mean gazelles' whispers...
It still makes me laugh. So why not a full five stars? Well, I don't know that everyone will appreciate the audacious, meat-eating extravaganza. Even I was quite upset about the fate of the owl... (but hey, I love owls). It also may send a bit of a confusing message to kids, about accepting themselves for who they are...even if that harms others? That's if you read too much into it. Honestly, just read it for fun and it will be hilarious.
Another Dan Santat book for the win. See the other books I've reviewed of his here.
Find it at your library or on Amazon