After the Kill
by Darrin P. Lunde
illustrated by Catherine Stock
Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge
The circle of life is illustrated in the demise of a zebra on the Serengeti Plain: first lions eat the flesh, then vulture pick over the leavings, and finally insects devour the rest.
This book is too graphic for younger grades, but 5th- and 6th-graders will probably love the "gross" descriptions of lionesses eating soft internal organs and maggots thriving on eyeballs. The language, as well, is too sophisticated for most young children, but "descend", "roaming", "perimeter", "ferociously", "glides", "swipes", and "carcass" will be excellent vocabulary-stretchers for the older readers. And those are just the words in the narrative; smaller text gives factual detail about the species pictured, such as hunting and socializing habits.
Junior Library Guild Selection
No Illustrator Info
Media: watercolor, pencil, gouache