A noteworthy review of Animals We Can't Live Without from Booklist on June 1, 2022
The Animals We Can’t Live Without series identifies ways in which animals help keep ecosystems in balance. Each title is devoted to one creature, and simple, straightforward sentences drive home facts in encyclopedia-like prose. The brief passages are organized into short chapters set off by bright graphics, with specialized vocabulary highlighted in color. The books end with glossaries and further-reading selections plus a link to a website maintained by the publisher. Each selection delivers an impressive amount of information focused specifically on the roles each species plays in maintaining its ecosystem; attention-getting, full-page photographs of animals in action further reinforce these contributions. Bats captures a couple of pollinators in full flight, extending their long tongues into flowers to collect nectar. Corals offers numerous brilliant photos of healthy coral reefs in full bloom filled with fish, crabs, and shrimp compared to a reef that’s been bleached and is dying. The images in Rodents range from photos of chipmunks burying seeds to prairie dogs digging tunnels, which help mitigate soil erosion. A huge specimen depicted in Sharks, munching away on a fish, is paired with an ocean food-web flowchart. Fun facts (naked mole rats can chew through concrete) pop up occasionally, and report writers will appreciate the easily accessible information. This subject-specific and visually appealing set offers both curriculum support and browsing appeal.