Academic journal article Language Arts

Carnivores

Academic journal article Language Arts

Carnivores

Article excerpt

Carnivores Written by Aaron Reynolds Illustrated by Dan Santat Chronicle, 2013, unpaged, ISBN 978-08118-6690-3

The first double-paged spread of this stellar picturebook offers a witty union of cartoon images, droll text, and energetic design that carries through the wonderfully raucous, if grimly carnivorous, story. Bold black diagonal lines split the visual field into energetic thirds. A roaring king-of-thebeasts lords over fearful herbivores, a cavernous-mouthed shark pursues terrified fish, and a "timber wolf 's howl strikes terror into the hearts of fuzzy woodland creatures everywhere." Adding visual depth, this jaggedly split scene starts on a sunny steppe, moves to a murky underwater setting, and finally to the dark of night. However, the tense build-up is quickly dispelled as "even SAVAGE CARNIVORES get their feelings hurt." They seek acceptance-but do they really want to change?

From the start of this hilarious book with its "Carnivore Food Pyramid" full of anxious prey animals to its final endpapers of emptiness-this book is an exceptional example of sardonic humor. …

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