Poor carnivores, perched atop the food chain and dissed by all their victims—at least, the prospective ones. What a pity.
Brought together by their hurt feelings, a lion (“The wildebeests call him ‘bad kitty’ ”), great white shark (“simply a fast eater”) and timber wolf (“almost never eats little girls”) take up vegetarianism in an effort to fit in and then try donning disguises. When neither strategy butters the biscuit, they turn to a great horned owl as a carnivore consultant. Proving himself as wise as he (later) is delicious, the owl leads them to a healthier attitude, to wit: “I’m not bad. I’m a carnivore. Eating meat is just what I do.” Surrounded by pastel bunnies and other wide-eyed prey in Santat’s big, comical illustrations, the three caricatured predators quickly go from slump-shouldered gloom to toothy, confident smiles as they realize the folly of judging themselves through the eyes of others.
Will young readers swallow such a tongue-in-cheek take on the importance of self-acceptance? With relish. (Picture book. 6-8)