Teaching kids about the food chain is always a tough proposition. For all of those fairy tales about the Big Bad Wolf, those pigs are still alive at the end. There’s some structural damage, sure, but no mention of a predator greedily gnawing off the hair on a chinny chin chin. If you want to slowly introduce them to nature of nature, check out this thoughtfully-designed title from famed British art-book publisher Phaidon. It gives them more science than Madagascar, but is less graphic than a Nova special.
Animals Are Delicious touches on 3 specific food chains — land, sky, and water — with massive accordion pictorials. The images from Melbourne-based husband and wife illustrator duo Dave Ladd and Stephanie Anderson mix diagrams, stylized 3D photos, and diorama. It’s fun, attractive, and makes sure that kids as young as 2 can understand the simple principle of kill or be killed. Yes, it spells out exactly who is dining out on whom, from lowly krill to the mighty killer whale, but nothing actually gets ripped apart in the book. Instead the text just alludes to the carnage by saying “… someone else is hungry.” (Come to think of it, you could do orca for dinner tonight.)
In a world of toothless children’s books where carnivores and herbivores romp together in an enchanted forest, this one gives your kid enough credit to at least tell the truth. Because your toddler always had an inkling that Daniel Tiger would eat half the neighborhood if given the opportunity.
Animals Are Delicious By Dave Ladd and Stephanie Anderson ($18)