An introduction to how a food chain works, from a flower’s nectar to a fish sandwich.
Using the titular question as a refrain, Jacobson kicks off with the simplistic claim that “food chains start with the sun” (not all of them do, however). He then goes on to construct a notably strained 10-link sequence of consumption in which dragonflies “sometimes” eat butterflies and wolves “sometimes” eat raccoons. Raccoons wouldn’t normally eat snakes but are shoehorned in because they will try “just about anything,” and mosquitoes “sip” wolf blood but “prefer nectar.” Links between the narrative and Tekiela’s wildlife photographs are pretty weak too, as except for the children (two white, two of color) chowing down at the beginning and end, none of the creatures on display are actually eating or even (except for the butterflies) shown with their supposed food source. Moreover, there is no mention of microbial members in the examined chain, and the trio of Argiope (garden) spiders depicted could as likely be prey for dragonflies as predators. Closing notes on alternative food-chain segments and other things the nine featured wild creatures eat don’t do much to help clarify the basic idea.
Pretty pictures, but they are forcibly joined to a labored description of this fundamental eco-concept. (Informational picture book. 6-9)