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Pika: Life in the Rockies    by Tannis Bill & Jim Jacobson order for
by Tannis Bill
Order:  USA  Can
Boyds Mills Press, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Its name means little chief hare and the diminutive pika is found in the mountains of western North America and Asia. Between six and eight inches in length and weighing in at roughly four to six ounces, this cute critter is often mistaken for a mouse, chipmunk, ground squirrel, or even a hamster.

Related to the rabbit, the pika is a member of the order of animals called Lagomorph, which means hare shaped. Although they love dining on leaves, berries, flowers and bark, the pika has been known to nibble on lichens in a pinch.

In this pictorial look at a pika's life, the author follows the little creature through the seasons. We see him sunning himself on a pile of rocks (his colors blend right in) and foraging for food.

During the late summer and into the fall, the pika begins constructing his distinctive nest that will be as big as a bathtub, and house the food that will help him make it through the winter months.

Since the pika doesn't hibernate like some other animals and he eats about nine times in a 24 hour period, the furry little critter needs a lot of stockpiled food to get through the winter.

Besides meeting the pika, you'll also be introduced to the predators (weasels, owls, martens and foxes) that he must watch out for.

A delightful picture book with splendid photography and an informative text, Pika: Life in the Rockies will appeal to children five years of age and older. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the team of Tannis Bill and Jim Jacobson have created an excellent book that will introduce this little creature to a much wider audience.

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