My favorite reading challenge is Kid Lit Frenzy’s 2014 Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. Visit Alyson’s blog to discover more wonderful nonfiction titles.
Steve Jenkins has another winner in Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World. The introductory materials explain the evolution of the eye and describe four different types of eyes that animals can have.
Jenkins then turns his attention to 24 different animals and their eyes. As the cover makes clear, Jenkins uses his trademark collage technique to great effect in this book. He provides a large close-up illustration of the animal’s eye or eyes as well as a small full-body illustration to show what the entire animal looks like. In a short paragraph of text accompanying each set of illustrations, Jenkins explains how each animal uses its eyes and why its eyes are designed in that particular way. We learn, for example, that the colossal squid’s eyes are the size of basketballs. The colossal squid lives in total darkness, but its giant eyes help it detect the bioluminescent glow of tiny creatures who are disturbed and move when the squid’s archenemy, the sperm whale, approaches. Jenkins carefully selects a memorable detail or two for each animal. I won’t easily forget the description of the bullfrog using its eyes to help it swallow its prey.
Jenkins’s paper collage illustrations of the animals are beautiful and the entire book design is elegant. There is useful back matter as well: a more detailed explanation of the evolution of the eye, a list of animal facts, glossary, and bibliography.