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Who Eats What?: Food Chains and Food Webs

1 rating: 1.0
A book by Patricia Lauber

An award-winning author and artist explain how every link in a food chain is important because each living thing depends on others for survival. Informative and intriguing, this basic science book leads children to think about the complex and interdependent … see full wiki

Author: Patricia Lauber
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction, Science
Publisher: Bt Bound
Date Published: October 01, 1999
1 review about Who Eats What?: Food Chains and Food Webs

Who Eats What?: Food Chains & Food Webs

  • Jan 29, 2002
Rating:
+1
Pros: Detailed examples of food chains and food webs

Cons: Hard to follow the arrows in the illustrations in food chains

The Bottom Line: For children in primary grades that show an interest in the concept of a food chain

I assumed that Who Eats What?: Food Chains & Food Webs would be of interest to my almost seven year-old son as this is a LetÂ’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science Book, Stage 2. However, the majority of the book is on food chains and food webs with the illustrations done With watercolor and black pen on Fabriano paper.

My son would prefer just reading about the types of meals each animal species eats and how they kill it as opposed to the food chain process. There are several pages that have arrows pointing from one item to another and it gets confusing trying to sort it all out.

We begin with seeing a caterpillar eating a leaf on an apple tree until he becomes the dinner of the arriving wren. When a hawk comes around he eats the wren. In this example the food chain begins with the leaf and ends with the hawk. It is described how the animal at the top of the food chain is the last eater because it is the one no one else will eat.

There are other short chains like when you eat an apple off a tree or drink milk in a glass. The cow eats the grass and the milk comes from the cow. There is a detailed diagram with a girl eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple and a glass of milk. Food keeps us alive and animals need to catch the food they need to survive. First we begin with green plants, as they are the only living things that can make their own food and do not need to eat something else. Animals depend on green plants as well.

With all Stage 2 books there are activities for the reader to actively seek out in reference to what is being taught in the story. For Who Eats What? it is suggested to walk and look around at the leaves, flower, bark on trees, nuts and seeds that have fallen to the ground. These items are all involved in food chains and children can draw those chains they have observed from the outdoors.

The illustrations show a chipmunk eaten by a weasel, hawk or a coyote, so they are all in the same food chain. The food chain would begin with the berries or nuts the chipmunk ate and then the possibilities of the animals wanting to eat the chipmunk. The food chains on land are short as opposed to long food chains for those that live in the sea. Here we also have green plants underwater that are eaten by mackerel, dog snapper and finally the top of the chain would be the great barracuda.

There is also red algae, seat lettuce and pepper dulse for the fish to eat before the larger ones eat them. Basically the small creatures eat the green plants with the size of the fish getting larger until the biggest one eats the smaller fish. During the summer months Antartica comes alive with tiny green plants that are eaten by krill. The squid will in turn eat the krill, which looks like shrimp. The killer whale can eat a sperm whale or a blue whale.

When you change your eating patterns you are changing the food chain as well. Fishermen kill krill but they cannot kill them all since this is what happened when they almost wiped out the sea otters in the Pacific Sea. It is important to take care of the earth so all living things have something to eat and in turn we help them and ourselves in the process.

I read Who Eats What?: Food Chains & Food Webs before showing my son the book and after two reads with him he lost interest. The book is being returned to the Los Angeles Public Library earlier than expected and my son has no plans to draw any food chains in the near future. The text and illustrations were copyrighted in 1995 with Harper Collins Publishers. Patricia Lauber, the author has also written four other books in this series as well as ninety books for children. Holly Keller is the illustrator of this and nine other books in the series.

In my quest to have my son learn other aspects of animals this book was not really a hit as it went into other details that he showed no interest in exploring. Since he is a beginning reader and this is a Stage 2 book this might have been too early for him to like. The whole process of food chains and food webs was not all that exciting to read for either of us but for anyone who is curious into that aspect of learning this might fit the bill.

I always borrow books to get a general idea if the book is a winner or loser for our household before making a purchase. This teaches my son to take care of books and the responsibility of returning them on time and in good condition. We are not a get outside and visit nature type of family so that might be another reason why this book was not well received.

There is also a paperback edition that sells used for $3.00 at amazon or new at $4.95. The hardback sells for $12.76 with only two in stock before a new shipment. The book consists of thirty-two pages for the recommended age of four to eight, and I would lean toward the older age.

Recommended:
Yes

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