Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Eye to Eye #nfpb2014 9/10/14

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My favorite reading challenge is Kid Lit Frenzy’s 2014 Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. Visit Alyson’s blog to discover more wonderful nonfiction titles.

eye to eye

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.







11 responses to “Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Eye to Eye #nfpb2014 9/10/14”

  1. LInda Baie (@LBaie) Avatar

    Another beauty, I agree, Elisabeth. It’s so hard not to collect all of Jenkins’ work. I’d love to try some collage work, know it isn’t easy, but Jenkins makes it so appealing. I don’t think I’ve seen this one. Thanks for sharing the details, too!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I agree, Linda: I’d like to own all of his books! I bought Eye to Eye and a copy of The Animal Book for my son’s classroom. Hoping some of the 6th graders fall in love with his work too!

  2. carriegelson Avatar

    I had planned to both read and review this for today but drowning in stress of teacher’s strike – things are getting worse, sigh. So so glad to see this here. Gorgeous book.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      So sorry to hear things are getting worse. I really want to hear some good news for you and all of the teachers and students! (Not to mention parents!)

  3. Michele Avatar

    Love this book, well, really anything Jenkins writes! He always makes the mundane animal facts seem fascinating!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I still have many of his books to read too. Got to get to the library!

  4. Myra GB Avatar

    My 12 year old girl fell in love with this title. Steve Jenkins is truly amazing. 🙂

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Glad to hear that your 12 yr old loves this book too. There is basically no nonfiction in my son’s 6th grade classroom library so I got a couple of Jenkins titles to share with them.

  5. Marj Avatar

    I hope I can find this book. It would be a great transition into our science class.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Marj, Jenkins has a number of books that you would probably enjoy sharing with your science class.

  6. […] review of Steve Jenkins’s nonfiction picture book, Eye to […]

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