Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Animal Book

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. Every Wednesday, 
I'll review non-fiction picture book. (It may not always be a picture book.) Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other non-fiction books are shared this week!

Title: The Animal Book  
Author: Steve Jenkins  
Illustrator: Steve Jenkins 
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: October, 2013  
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book/Collection 
GoodReads Summary: Animals smooth and spiky, fast and slow, hop and waddle through the two hundred plus pages of the Caldecott Honor artist Steve Jenkins’s most impressive nonfiction offering yet. Sections such as “Animal Senses,” “Animal Extremes,” and “The Story of Life” burst with fascinating facts and infographics that will have trivia buffs breathlessly asking, “Do you know a termite queen can produce up to 30,000 eggs a day?” Jenkins’s color-rich cut- and torn-paper artwork is as strikingly vivid as ever. Rounding out this bountiful browsers’ almanac of more than three hundred animals is a discussion of the artist’s bookmaking process, an animal index, a glossary, and a bibliography. A bookshelf essential!  
What I Think: This book is a wonderful collection of so many animal stories. It was so fun to read through and recognize animals from Jenkins' other books. There are some great timelines and opportunities to look at the size of animals in comparison to a human or another reference. All books should inspire us to think but I found that this book truly made me slow down and think about the information in a different way than some other non-fiction books. Non-fiction books that are a collection of facts similar to this are often fascinating to read but I find myself usually overwhelmed by all the information and just trying to read all the facts. The information is usually fascinating but sometimes can be overwhelming. Steve Jenkins got the balance of his artwork and facts and themes exactly right.
     Each layout in this book targeted a specific topic and was able to bring a specific lens to how we thought about the animals on the page. We didn't just read about the animals, we were really thinking about why they were all on the same page and we looked at the timelines and noticed when there was something on the page to help us figure out the scale size of the animals as they were pictured in the book. As we were looking a the biggest and smallest animals, Peanut wanted to know just how small the smallest animal was and we had the answer right there. We learned so much by slowing down and paying attention to the captions for the pictures but also the overall subject of the layouts. I've seen so many students check out non-fiction books and just read the pictures. There's absolutely nothing wrong with reading the pictures but I love that when we read the pictures and the text of this book, that there is so much more than picture of animals collected on a page.
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 6 
Read Alone: Grades K - 6 
Read With: Any of Steve Jenkins' other books, Books by Nic Bishop and Seymour Simon 
Snatch of Text: 
Good designs
"Some animals are so well suited for survival 
that they haven't changed much in a long 
time. For these creatures, no variation
or mutation is likely to offer much of an 

"The earliest turtles lived more than 200 million years ago.

Dragonflies have been with us for the past 250 million years.

Sharks have been described as nature's perfect predators. 
They have hunted in the oceans for almost 400 million years."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Non-Fiction Text Features, Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Expository 
Writing Prompts: Choose one of the animals or topics from the book to research and write about what you learn. 
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Animals 
I *heart* It:

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