"My selection is "What's for dinner?: quirky, squirmy poems from the animal world" written by Katherine B. Hauth and illustrated by David Clark.
Hauth's collection of 29 poems in a variety of forms combine biology and verse in a sometimes macabre, but always entertaining dance of predator and prey that is nature's food chain.
The first poem which echoes the book's title is a perfect example and clearly introduces the tone and theme of the verses that follow.
What's for dinner?
They might seek meat,or nectar sweet,
the white of eggs,or yolk,
sleek fish, dead trees,fresh blood, live bees,
or prickly artichoke.But finding food
is not a joke.
Living things must eator croak.
Well-known cartoonist, David Clark, provides comical relief. Whether it's "yucky" vultures cleaning up road-kill or an "icky" praying mantis decapitating her mate, the illustrations are sure to generate a smile even as the reader squirms.
Teachers will find this book an enjoyable introduction to life cycles, food chains, survival, symbiosis and other life-science concepts. Students might be inspired to create their own verses to describe animal-related studies.
The book concludes with definitions, animal facts and additional resources.