Predator and prey face off in a battle of poems…Text boxes supplement the poems and illustrations with information about the animals, and clever gatefolds in some spreads allow Kitchen’s sumptuous illustrations full command by tucking the text inside the folds. An effective presentation of science through poetry, art, and stellar bookmaking.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Kitchen’s realistic watercolor and gouache illustrations, occasionally presented on gatefold spreads, match the verses’ directness, adroitly showing these creatures and their environments by rendering fine details such as tangled ribbons of grass, geometrically patterned scales, and the brushy texture of a squirrel’s tail.
Content and cadence are cleverly aligned with the actual behaviors of the animals, and the structure and layouts of the poems also echo traits of the creatures: the words in the blue jay poem are spaced apart, and readers must move their heads back and forth to read them, mimicking the jay’s head movements as it ponders its choice of meal. Illustrations are in soft-focus, with stippled green and brown landscapes, though some of the animals are hard to spot within these environs.
—The Horn Book
Two voices are needed for many of the poems in ‘Predator and Prey’ (Candlewick, 24 pages, $18.99), a picture book for children ages 6-9 written by biologist Susannah Buhrman-Deever, with muted watercolor and gouache paintings by Bert Kitchen. Each page spread captures a fraught moment of confrontation between relatively unsung opponents. So we don’t see that well-known fellow, the lion, stalking a smaller mammal in the veldt; rather, here are face-offs between creatures such as the Sharp-Shinned Hawk and the Chickadee, and the Pacific Rattlesnake and the Ground Squirrel.
—The Wall Street Journal