Hawks star in this sixth episode of Eaton’s The Truth About Your Favorite Animals series.
The author uses familiar North American species to illustrate hawks’ hunting behavior, family life, migration, and threats. Text on the page gives the facts while the various hawks, a brown-skinned bird-watcher, a threatened vole, and a sky-gliding Dall sheep provide commentary. As in previous books, there are also signpostlike text boxes with further facts along the way. The author has a knack for picking facts his young readers will enjoy: “Baby hawks often go to the bathroom over the edge of the nest instead of in it.” But they will also come away knowing the more general characteristics of the hawk family—the excellent vision, hooked beak, strong, sharp-taloned toes, large wings, and special tail feathers that make them such deadly hunters—and much more. Although the illustrations are cartoons, and sometimes wildly out of proportion (a fox taller than the human child), the hawk species are both actually recognizable and usually labeled on the page. It should be easy for readers to distinguish fact from exaggeration, and the humor may make the science stick. The backmatter includes illustrations of wingspans, air movements that help them fly, migratory routes, and suggestions, both easy and challenging, for further reading.
Cartoon humor and solid information make an appealing introduction to an impressive bird family. (Informational picture book. 4-8)