June 9, 2016
Flying Frogs and Walking Fish by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Flying Frogs and Walking Fish
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
We all have some idea about how animals get from one place to another. They fly and walk and jet-propel. That’s right. Animals in water can squirt water to blast themselves away from a predator.
Jenkins and Page discuss these concepts using a variety of animals. Some like sloths and kangaroos are familiar. Others, including pangolin and hoatzin, are much less so. But even familiar sloths can move about in unfamiliar ways (sloth swim!).
The authors lead young readers through these concepts by focusing on one type of movement at a time. For example, first they highlight walking, staring with an octopus walking across the ocean floor on two legs. Then, with the turn of a page, young readers get to see more animals that use walking to move around. While kangaroos and vampire bats are familiar, we don’t think of them as walkers although that’s what they are doing in the book. Then there are the animals, like the red-lipped batfish that I had simply never heard of before.
If you aren’t familiar with Jenkins and Page’s books, check this one out. The simple text is brought to life with detailed cut paper collage of each animal. In all truth, I think my favorite is the octopus. The image may be static, but in my mind I can picture the arms moving sinuously. Jenkins just does that good of a job.
Backmatter goes through the types of motion and animals one more time, giving additional detail that can be used by parents and teachers to expand on the lessons in the book.
Pick this one up to share with your class or your own young reader. But do expect a bit of walking, jumping and tumbling as your listeners strive to act out the various forms of motion.