Cover image for The animal book : a collection of the fastest, fiercest, toughest, cleverest, shyest-- and most surprising-- animals on earth
The animal book : a collection of the fastest, fiercest, toughest, cleverest, shyest-- and most surprising-- animals on earth
The animal book : a collection of the fastest, fiercest, toughest, cleverest, shyest-- and most surprising-- animals on earth
Personal Author:
Publisher Info:
Boston [Mass.] : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, c2013.
Physical Description:
208 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm.
Animals! -- Family -- Animal senses -- Predators -- Defenses -- Animal extremes -- The story of life -- More information.
Shares facts on over three hundred animals and offers a brief overview of the history of life on Earth. Dance with a blue-footed booby, or stare down an eyelash viper. But mind your step-- in the animal world, the name of the game is survival.


Call Number
Material Type
JUV 590 JENK New or Popular Adult Fiction Book

On Order



Animals smooth and spiky, fast and slow, hop and waddle through the two hundred plusnbsp;pages of the Caldecott Honor artist Steve Jenkins's most impressive nonfiction offering yet. Sections such as "Animal Senses," "Animal Extremes," and "The Story of Life" burst with fascinating facts and infographics that will have trivia buffs breathlessly asking, "Do you knownbsp;a termite queen can produce up to 30,000 eggs a day?" Jenkins's color-rich cut- and torn-paper artwork is as strikingly vivid as ever. Rounding out this bountiful browsers' almanac of more than three hundred animals is a discussion of the artist's bookmaking process, an animal index, a glossary, and a bibliography. A bookshelf essential!

Author Notes

Steve Jenkins, illustrator of more than thirty children's books, won a Caldecott Honor for What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? He lives in Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children. Visit his website at .

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-6-Jenkins draws from his earlier books to craft this richly detailed work with handsome cut- and torn-paper illustrations. Numerous animal facts are organized into seven topical chapters. A few extinct animals are included. Chapters offer information about animal families, senses, predators, defenses, and extremes, and about life from an evolutionary perspective. Material within each chapter is presented in segments that average two pages in length and consist of a descriptive paragraph, several colorful illustrations that vary in size, and detailed captions. Each chapter concludes with a related chart or graph. Some text in the "Timeline of animal life" is lost in the book's gutter, and the "How many eyes do animals have?" chart notes that wasps have five eyes but the corresponding illustration only shows four. Jenkins's artwork is recognizable from earlier works; for example, the giant squid eye and Siberian tiger spreads found in Actual Size (Houghton Harcourt, 2004) are replicated here. A lengthy alphabetically arranged, appended section includes even more animal details paired with tiny artwork. The book has a useful table of contents. Tucked between the glossary and bibliography, which includes materials published between 1951 and 2010, is a welcome section on Jenkins's bookmaking process. The closing page showcases the works from which material included here has been taken. With so much to look at, this attractive browsing book will fascinate children thirsty for animals facts. Students doing reports on a specific animal will need to consult other resources.-Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jenkins compiles more than 300 animals, using a loosely encyclopedic format with sections covering topics like "Animal Extremes," "Predators," and "Animal Senses." Jenkins's always skillful use of cut- and torn-paper animal artwork appears throughout (several images comes from his earlier books), while factually detailed captions describe each subject, resulting in a vibrant juxtaposition of science and art. Fascinating creatures and characteristics abound: "Most deep-sea creatures cannot see red light. But the spotlight loosejaw can detect it, and it is the bizarre fish's secret weapon." A colossal squid's eye (shown actual size) fills an entire spread, and Jenkins closes out the book with sections on the history of life on earth, additional animal facts, and a discussion of how he goes about creating books. In showcasing the riches and peculiarities of the natural world, Jenkins offers plenty to seize (and satisfy) readers' curiosities. Ages 6-10. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The author of more than 30 books about the natural world offers here a compendium of the animal kingdom arranged in thematic chapters touching on family, senses, predators, defenses, extremes, and evolution. Chapters (signaled by colored tabs running along page tops) contain multiple spreads addressing subtopics (for example, the topic of Family breaks down into Attracting a Mate, Eggs, and Born Alive). Each of these sections includes a brief introduction and multiple captioned illustrations, and the chapters close with an infographic that summarizes the section's most important points. As always, Jenkins' cut-paper collages are a highlight and demonstrate great use of vibrant color, attention to detail (particularly sizes), and an overall sense of design. The back matter is rich as well; the index of animals contains thumbnail illustrations and notations about size, habitat, and diet, while an appended section on Making Books explains Jenkins' process from ideas and research to illustrations and publication. Much of this artwork has appeared previously, but it is repurposed to superb effect, with new captions and organization. This is a beautiful book that belongs in most collections; it will engage browsers for hours, and the many textual features make it an excellent choice for classroom curricula.--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2010 Booklist