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MOVE! by Steve Jenkins


by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page & illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: April 24th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-64637-X
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Textured collages array themselves across gracious expanses of white space in Jenkins’s trademark clean design. As the title suggests, the concept under examination is the way animals move, from a gibbon who “swings through the jungle trees . . . [and] walks on two back legs” to a penguin who “slides—splash!—into the sea . . . and waddles with its colony.” Each animal’s second mode of locomotion leads to the next animal’s first, so the leaping, slithering crocodile gives way to the slithering, climbing snake. It’s a characteristically gorgeous offering, but one whose simplicity is occasionally at war with its delivery, given the suggested audience of preschoolers. The jacana (a southern African wading bird), for instance, is presented with no pronunciation guide, and the aforementioned “colony” of penguins is not defined. Each animal is presented in thumbnail at the end, with an accompanying paragraph explaining habitat, habits and size, but these do not serve to fill in the informational gaps in the main narrative. These flaws notwithstanding, there’s no denying that this is an extraordinarily pretty and child-friendly package. (Picture book/nonfiction. 2-5)