ANIMALS IN FLIGHT by Steve Jenkins

ANIMALS IN FLIGHT

by & & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An ambitious but unsuccessful design combines three levels of narration in this exploration of the concept of flight in the animal kingdom. Jenkins (Bugs Are Insects, p. 665, etc.) and Page create a basic storyline with double-page spreads each featuring one creature in flight, illustrated with Jenkins’s brilliant, realistic cut-paper collages. The top of each spread includes just one or two sentences set in large type, which could be read by young readers themselves or by an adult as a read-aloud. The second layer of narration is set in smaller, italic type, serving as captions for the illustrations. The third, more problematic layer of narration goes deeper in some related direction (or in several directions), for example, explaining the mechanics of a hummingbird’s wing movement. These related text blocks are set in even smaller type accompanied by small, computer-generated illustrations. A final spread offers an additional paragraph of information on each of the animals covered. A nonfiction work for children can’t be all things for all ages, and this effort tries to be both a read-aloud for younger children and a nonfiction title for older ones, failing on both levels. The print in the third level of narrative is really too small for anyone to comfortably read, and the effect of all the levels of information, three different type faces, and the cluttered page design serves to dilute the impact of the attractive cut-paper collages. This overloaded concept never gets off the ground. (bibliography) (Nonfiction/picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-12351-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2001




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