Review of Packs

Packs: Strength in Numbers
by Hannah Salyer; illus. by the author
Primary    Houghton    48 pp.
1/20    978-1-328-57788-7    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-358-16695-5    $12.99

For some animal species, there are evolutionary advantages to social groupings. “Packs, herds, huddles, and pods. Together, we are better.” Salyer introduces young readers to many of the creative words used to describe animal aggregations (an army of frogs, a flamboyance of flamingos, an ­implausibility of wildebeest) but also explains just what those groupings provide: care for their young (elephants, lions); communication to locate food and prey (bats, bees); and safety in numbers (zebras, mongooses). The richly colored illustrations portray the multitudes, often oriented to seem to flow past the observer, or to highlight how animals clustered together make it hard to identify individuals or distinguish them from their backgrounds. The final double-page spread connects the book’s message to a familiar social animal — humans — as people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities happily congregate in a village square. “All together…we are better!” Notes at the end of the book identify the exact species portrayed in the illustrations, and caution that many of these species are under threat of extinction. Also appended with a brief bibliography.

From the March/April 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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