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Grassland: Life Cycles    by Sean Callery order for
by Sean Callery
Order:  USA  Can
Kingfisher, 2013 (2013)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

The life cycles of eleven animals, how they live, reproduce, and how they are linked with other creatures in the food chain, are investigated here.

Visiting the African grasslands, the reader learns about the zebra, hyena, lion and vulture. Moving on to the South American pampas, the grasshopper, rhea and cougar are featured. The final stop, the North American prairie, introduces the reader to the prairie dog, rattlesnake, American badger and coyote.

The discussion of the food chain includes grass eaters (elephants, bison and insects), the critters that consume small, slow prey like insects and carrion, and the top predators which are big, strong and fast like the lion or cougar.

Interesting things young readers will learn include the fact that lions run their heads together when they meet, a cougar can leap 10 feet up in the air and a badger's fur is tough but loose, which makes it difficult for snakes to bite through to the flesh.

Illustrated with color photos, this Life Cycles book explains some of the Earth's key ecosystems in a simple manner and, without being too graphic, shows how food chains work. Other books in the series cover forests, rivers, mountains, rainforests, deserts and oceans.

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