July 6, 2018

Who Am I? An Animal Guessing Game by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:08 am by suebe2

Who Am I? An Animal Guessing Game
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

As soon as I saw this book on a recommended reading list, I requested it from my library.  Even when I was a young reader, I was a sucker for the photo quizzes that show the reader a close-up of an animal and challenge the reader to figure out what it is.

In Who Am I?  one two page spread provides readers with the clues in the form of text and images.  For example, one pair of pages says, “I have . . . a sticky, flicky tongue . . . bumpy green skin . . . two bulging eyeballs  . . . ten webbed toes . . . a floating lily pad . . . and a fly for lunch! Who am I?”   Each written clue is paired with an close-up view of a long pink tongue, green skin, etc.

Readers turn the page to find a frog.  Seven different animals are featured in this way.  Then at the end of the book is a section with mor eon each animal including how big it is, what it eats, where it lives, an interesting fact, and more.

In only seven animals they have descent variety including an amphibian, two birds, an insect, and a crustacean.  Some of the animals are pretty straightforward (frog) but some are a bit more exotic (crab and flamingo).  Then again, if you live in the right part of the country a flamingo might not be particularly exotic.

Page and Jenkins work together on the writing. The illustrations are created by Jenkins in torn and cut-paper collage.  I have to admit that I’m a fan of their work.  I love the simplicity of the text paired with the gorgeous textures of the paper and the details portrayed in the illustrations.

This book will not take long to read but expect sharing the book to take some time.  After reading the book, your young reader will most likely want to look for the image clues in the larger illustration of each animal.  You might also want to have a variety of papers on hand, including scrap and recycled, to encourage your young learned to try creating their own animal themed collages.

–SueBE

 

June 9, 2016

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:09 pm by suebe2

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.

–SueBE

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