cover image Carnivores


Aaron Reynolds, illus. by Dan Santat. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8118-6690-3

The lion, the great white shark, and the timber wolf are tired of being disrespected by those lower than them on the food chain. “The wildebeests call him ‘bad kitty’ just because he’s eaten half the neighborhood,” says the sympathetic narrator of the lion. “It hurts. It really does.” They try vegetarianism, only for the wolf to discover, “Every single berry bush seemed to have a bunny inside.” They disguise themselves as upstanding members of their preys’ species, but the great white shark can’t resist turning a pod of dolphins into takeout. Leave it to a wise great horned owl to give the hapless trio sage advice on living as meat-eaters: own it. Reynolds (Creepy Carrots) and Santat (Crankenstein) do likewise, making the most of their flair for comic timing, visual exaggeration, and spoofing everything from foodie trends to self-actualization. Clearly, there’s still plenty of room in the irreverent and decidedly Darwinian humor territory pioneered by the likes of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.)