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Everybody’s Somebody’s Lunch
Cherie Mason
Illustrated by Gustav Moore
Picture Book
Ages 8 to 11
Tilbury House, 2001, 0-88448-200-6
  Often we like to think that nature is a warm fuzzy place full of “roses and butterflies” but as a girl discovers it is actually a place where every creature could end up being some other creature’s next meal. When her cat Mouser disappears the girl goes looking for her pet. What she finds is the cat’s collar and a little fur on the ground. Some animal has attacked Mouser and the cat will not be coming home. It is a painful thing to have to accept but as she looks about her in the woods she sees that nature is full of predators of all kinds. After all we all have to eat.
  In school the girl’s teacher explains the concept of predator and prey further. The children learn that predation is one of the ways in which nature keeps a check on animal populations. If there were no wolves or coyotes to kill and eat the deer, then the deer would overrun everything. The children also discuss the fact that an animal has to eat to survive. If a mother fox failed to kill for food then her pups would starve. In short, the killing of prey is a normal part of nature and we are part of it.
  In time the girl sees that though the natural cycle of nature may seem harsh, it is necessary. She finds that she can still appreciate the beauty in nature and that she can now better understand its subtleties and complexities.
  In this picture book incredibly lovely illustrations accompany a text which will help children better understand the ways in which animals interact in the wild. They will come to understand that the “eat or be eaten” law is a part of all of our lives and that there is nothing cruel or unkind about it.


 

Everybody's Somebody's Lunch

 

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