- Packs: Strength in Numbers by Hannah Salyer
Salyer, Hannah Packs: Strength in Numbers; written and illus. by Hannah Salyer. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020 [46p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-328-57788-7 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-358-16695-5 $12.99 Reviewed from galleys R 4-8 yrs
Feathered, furred, or finned, animals generally have need to commune with their kind to keep the species thriving, and here Salyer highlights two dozen groups and, in spreads that each comprise a brief paragraph, a vignette, and a full-page color illustration, offer reasons why they gather. Billows of bats "love to gab, but all that yammer is not just chatter: it's echolocation … [that] we use to detect our prey. … Together, we speak!" and coral link up to "create a large colorful reef that is home [End Page 225] to many other ocean dwellers. to many other ocean dwellers. Together, we build!" Large pictures and succinct text make this a strong selection for pre- and primary school classrooms, and the ease with which this title can be, ahem, unpacked into self-contained units could lend itself to readers theater-style presentations. A few illustrations don't jibe well with the text, but with a final note that gives specific names to the animals in the text and a half dozen related children's books, this will be a useful and entertaining resource.