Review of Bobcat Prowling

Bobcat Prowling Bobcat Prowling
by Maria Gianferrari; illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline
Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp.    g
3/22    978-1-62672-786-1    $18.99

Bobcats live solitary lives all across North America. In this story, Gianferrari (Hawk Rising, rev. 5/18) shows how one such creature travels for many months to find its own territory. Bobcat Yearling leaves its mother at about a year old so that Mother Bobcat can again mate and raise a new litter. The protagonist identifies three potential habitats, but Canada Lynx, Resident Bobcat, and Coyote have already claimed these territories, forcing Bobcat Yearling to move along until it finds a suitable area—in this case near a suburban neighborhood—that it can call home. During the bobcat’s journey, readers observe its predatory skills and a portion of its carnivorous diet: hares, squirrels, and even a pheasant. The focus here is clearly on Bobcat Yearling, with humans shown in the illustrations as observers who glimpse the animal dashing across the landscape or see evidence (such as tracks in snow) that it’s been nearby. Ibatoulline’s (Coyote Moon, The Hawk of the Castle) realistic watercolors depict unspoiled landscapes, which provide glimpses into the ways animals and humans can occupy the same spaces. Appended with facts about bobcats, a review of the cat’s predatory skills and diet, and suggestions for further reading and viewing.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

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