A quick trip up an aquatic food chain, with pop-up predators.
Though presented in just six spreads, the demonstration is an effective one thanks to some simple but dramatic paper engineering. Standing out like a beacon in a dimly lit marine setting, a small orange “sea worm” as “happy as can be” is snapped up with a page turn by a striped fish, who is in turn gulped down by a larger, polka-dot “big bad bully fish” that itself becomes a meal as full-spread–sized jaws close with a climactic “CRUNCH!” End of lesson. Löhlein gives the worm and each fish cross-eyed, comically surprised expressions and tucks a passing minisub and other tongue-in-cheek details into the watery background. Added comments—“Look out, worm!” “Time to go, Fred!”—from finny by-floaters provide extra zip. The victims aren’t laughing, but children will as they witness this cartoony take on nature in action.
A long way from “nature red in tooth and claw”—at this length, it’s merely a snack—but still, there’s a worthwhile nugget of informational nutrition. (Pop-up picture book. 4-6)