________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 14 . . . . March 12, 1999

cover Raptors. (Birds Up Close Series).

Bobbie Kalman.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON: Crabtree Publishing Company, 1998.
32 pp., cloth, $22.95.
ISBN 0-86505-751-6.

Subject Heading:
Birds of prey-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2 - 8 / Ages 7 - 13.
Review by Bob Piper.

*** /4

Did you know that raptors are the only birds that almost always catch their prey with their feet, and that there are more than 450 types of these birds? This very colourful and informative book is one in Bobbie Kalman's "Birds Up Close" series. You are introduced to body adaptations, predatory behaviour, breeding, even the training of raptors, including ospreys, eagles and hawks, falcons, owls, vultures and secretary birds.

      As a reference book, offering interesting facts about these birds of prey, Raptors does a very good job. The 'Words to know' list (glossary) helps to define many terms, and the 'Index' provides easy access to the kinds of details readers will be seeking. There are, however, some interesting editorial discrepancies. Nowhere could I find reference to the importance of highlighted words in the text. At times, there appears to be some link between the highlighted words and words in the glossary, but this is inconsistent. The word "prey" is not highlighted on first appearance in the text, and yet it is included in the glossary. As well, the word "nocturnal" is highlighted on first appearance, but it fails to show up in the glossary. The word "mantling" is highlighted, defined in a parenthetical phrase in the text, and is not in the glossary. "Habitat" is highlighted, is clearly defined in the paragraph in which it appears, and shows up again in the glossary. This inconsistent approach recurs in the other two titles in this series which I reviewed - Rainforest Birds and Marine Birds.

      Another puzzling editorial twist comes in the form of highlighted first letters on some words in the index. I was unable to discern the significance of this particular editorial device, and there is no explanation in the text.


Bob Piper is a semi-retired teacher-librarian living in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364