Apex Predators by Steve Jenkins

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Summary:  After a one-page explanation of what an apex predator is (animals at the top of their food chain), Jenkins launches into his trademark cut-paper illustrations with facts about various apex predators, past and present.  He starts with several modern-day animals, then works his way backward through time, from the giant short-faced bear (extinct 11,000 years ago) to the Anomalacaris (strange shrimp) that’s been extinct for 500 million years.  On the last two pages, he shows a couple imagined face-offs between living and extinct animals.  Who would win–the Siberian tiger or the Utahraptor?  The great white shark or the Dunkleasteus?  There’s also a sidebar about the deadliest predator of all times; bet you can guess what that is.  Includes a brief bibliography and a list of websites.  32 pages; grades 1-5.

Pros:  Jenkins has produced another collection of amazing illustrations and kid-friendly facts.  Readers will wish for more of the “Who would win?” scenarios…maybe they could learn about some of the apex predators and create their own.

Cons:  After reading many Steve Jenkins books, some of his facts sound familiar.

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