The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest—and Most Surprising—Animals On Earth

Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin, $21.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-547-55799-1
Jenkins compiles more than 300 animals, using a loosely encyclopedic format with sections covering topics like “Animal Extremes,” “Predators,” and “Animal Senses.” Jenkins’s always skillful use of cut- and torn-paper animal artwork appears throughout (several images comes from his earlier books), while factually detailed captions describe each subject, resulting in a vibrant juxtaposition of science and art. Fascinating creatures and characteristics abound: “Most deep-sea creatures cannot see red light. But the spotlight loosejaw can detect it, and it is the bizarre fish’s secret weapon.” A colossal squid’s eye (shown actual size) fills an entire spread, and Jenkins closes out the book with sections on the history of life on earth, additional animal facts, and a discussion of how he goes about creating books. In showcasing the riches and peculiarities of the natural world, Jenkins offers plenty to seize (and satisfy) readers’ curiosities. Ages 6–10. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 10/29/2013
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