January 30, 2014
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat
by Aaron Reynolds
illustrated by Dan Santat
It isn’t easy being a carnivore. People think it is — after all, the call the lion the “King of the Beasts.” But what people don’t realize is that even a carnivore can have sensitive feelings and it hurts when the other animals call you “bad kitty” or comment on your “feeding frenzies.”
Given their special social issues, it shouldn’t have been surprising when the lion, the great white shark and the timber wolf started meeting. After all, who better to understand what is going on in your head than another carnivore. What can they do to stop the hurt feelings?
The answer they came up with: become vegetarian. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work.
I don’t want to go into more detail about the actual story because I don’t want to spoil the plot. Suffice it to say that it is hilarious in a slightly warped kind of way. Okay, maybe more than slightly warped. Let’s just say that after several humorous attempts to be someone (or something) they aren’t, the carnivores learn to embrace what makes them unique.
Not only is the text extremely funny, Santat builds on this in his illustrations. Be sure to read the signs and dry erase boards in the background when the carnivores are meeting. And do pay attention to the secondary characters — the bunnies don’t mean to be funny, but in their own vapid way they may be the funniest part of the book.
This may be more of a boy book than a girl book or maybe you just need to be a wee bit warped to truly appreciate it. Frankly, I tempted to buy it for my fourteen-year-old son, the self-described carnivore.
I’d love to deliver this review with no warnings, but I do have one. If you are a vegetarian with no sense of humor, don’t pick this book up. You may very well be offended. If you fail to heed my warning and are offended … oh, well. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.
PS Watch the trailer below. If you laugh, check out the book! If you don’t, there is no help for you. I’m sorry.