LITTLE DOGS OF THE PRAIRIE by Jack Denton Scott

LITTLE DOGS OF THE PRAIRIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As they have for the American Stork, Canada Geese, and other creatures of the wild, Scott and Sweet team up here with superior photos and a brief but informative text for an appreciative introduction to the prairie dog. Though Scott's prose is occasionally awkward, he does clarify some minor issues that are more carelessly handled elsewhere: where Eberle (Prairie Dogs in Prairie Dog Town, 1974) shows her semi-fictionalized subjects trapping and burying a rattlesnake, Scott goes into the conflicting reports on how they actually do react to rattlers; he also points out that there are more than the two subspecies reported in Chace's Wonders of Prairie Dogs (1976), which is closest to this in level and coverage but far less attractive. In addition to the seven subclasses of prairie dogs, Scott reports eight separate barks (each with a different meaning) and at least four ways in which their digging benefits the soil; his description of the animal's feeding habits includes also the non-nutritional function of grass-eating and aspects of its unique digestive system. With Sweet's intimate, appealing photos, this comes closest yet to the treatment that these clannish, industrious, and most engaging creatures seem to call for.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1977
Publisher: Putnam