Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE ANIMAL BOOK by Steve Jenkins Kirkus Star


by Steve Jenkins ; illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 5 - 18

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-55799-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Building on years of experience in selecting animal facts and creating arresting illustrations, Jenkins surpasses his previous work with an amazing album characterized by clear organization, realistic images and carefully chosen examples.

The thoughtful, appealing design will both attract browsers and support those looking for specifics, but this also provides a solid introduction to the vast animal kingdom. After a chapter of definition, information is presented in sections on animal families, senses, predators, defenses, extremes and the story of life. More facts appear in the final chapter, which serves both as index (with page numbers and thumbnails) and quick reference. Most spreads have an explanatory paragraph and then a number of examples, each with an animal image and a sentence or two of detail set on white background. These cut- and torn-paper illustrations have realistic color and features: eyes that look at readers, teeth that amaze, and tiny legs, whiskers or feelers. Some are actual size or show a close-up portion of the animal’s body. Sections end with a jaw-dropping two-page image; chapters end with charts. Jenkins fills out this appealing celebration with a description of his bookmaking process.

With facts sure to delight readers—who will be impatient to share their discoveries—this spectacular book is a must-purchase for animal-loving families and most libraries. (glossary, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 5 & up)