Reviews

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator
 
Animal Behavior Society
"What sets this book apart ... is that it is photographed, not drawn. These are real pictures, expertly composed. There is no exaggerated illustration or fanciful scenery. The slime glistens on bright green leaves, and the iridescent body of the wolfsnail will be a pleasant surprise to those who assumed snails had no aesthetic value. This is one kid’s book that parents won’t mind leaving out on the coffee table. Wolfsnail is a solid freshman effort from husband-and-wife team Sarah and Richard Campbell. Hopefully we can look forward to future installments from this team showcasing nature, beautiful in tooth and claw."
ReadKiddoRead.com
"This nonfiction photo essay ... does for snails what Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley did for frogs. ... Publishers, give us more books like this, please, with simple-to-understand texts filled with drama, fascinating facts, and glamorous color photos, which we can share with preschoolers or any age."
Library Media Connection
"The Powerful closeup photography lets the reader follow right behind as a predatory wolfsnail goes about its daily routine. ... A unique look at the miniature world of a small predator. Recommended."
Natural History Magazine
“Told in larger-than-life photographs, the story has a nice narrative arc and more drama than you might expect. Young children will warm to the snail, which has comical handlebar mustaches (mouthpiece extensions that help it track prey), and shares their predicament of being very small in a big world.”
Midwest Book Review
"Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator is a children's picturebook about the fascinating wolfsnail, a carnivorous mollusk that hunts and eats snails and slugs. Striking, full-color photographs of an actual wolfsnail on the hunt illustrate this amazing and educational story. The final three pages include more snail facts (including the tragic tale of how the wolfsnail was imported to Hawaii to combat another invading snail, but ate native Hawaiian snails instead) and a glossary of snail words. An excellent introduction to the wonders of natural life that can be found in an ordinary backyard."
Chicago Tribune
"There is indeed such an animal, which eats other snails, and Sarah and Richard Campbell have made its doings quite visible."
School Library Journal
"Campbell’s terse, conversational text follows one such hunt on a damp spring day as a wolfsnail detects, tracks, and engulfs its prey, using its mustachio-style lip extensions as ultrasensory devices. Large, crisp photos record the activity, from the wolfsnail’s morning awakening to start the hunt to the denouement of a return to rest."
Horn Book
"The pacing of the spare text moves, appropriately, at a snail’s pace, conveying with a phrase or sentence per page the wolfsnail’s deliberate and single-minded focus on food. Each step is illustrated with an exceptional close-up photograph that brings into sharp focus the glistening snail body, the ridges of its shell, and every nook and cranny of the hosta leaves on which the attack occurs. There are no punches pulled in this account—the victim succumbs in slow motion over four pages, and all that remains is an empty shell."
Booklist
"..[L]ots of fascinating facts about where the snails live, how they mate, and more. Even the glossary is fun, with words ranging from cannibal and mollusc to mucus and slug. In their first book, the Campbells tell a survival story that will help youngsters discover exciting nature in their own backyards and help them understand the role of predators in the natural cycle."
Science News
"A snail may seem an unlikely candidate for most ferocious predator, but the wolfsnail certainly deserves consideration. … A few lines of text per page accompany bright, close-up color photographs that not only detail the snail's search for its prey (leaf-eating snails and slugs leave detectable trails of slime), but also the prey's demise."
Kirkus
"In this introduction to a carnivorous species probably unknown to young readers, striking color photographs of larger-than-life-sized snails accompany a simple straightforward text. … Sure to encourage early readers and listeners to explore their own backyards for similarly wondrous creatures."

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