Monday, February 29, 2016

Nonfiction Monday: How to swallow a pig: Step-by-step advice from the animal kingdom by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Steve Jenkins is one of those prolific authors whose offerings seem to blend together after a while. However, he and Robin Page do have some stand-out titles and I think this new offering is one of them.

While the book keeps the usual format of a Jenkins/Page offering - paper collage animals against a white background with small chunks of information - if offers a unique and humorous approach to how animals behave. After the introductory spread, each page details step-by-step information. Want to hunt like a reddish egret? There are three steps and one cool trick to know. Need to know how to defend yourself like an armadillo? It will take some practice, but you have six options to try, depending on what's coming after you. And if you want to swallow a pig like a python, as shown on the front cover, don't forget step six - "Rest. Once the pig is completely swallowed, take a nap. You won't have to eat again for several months." This will give you plenty of time to decide on your next animal to imitate!

There is a lengthy follow-up section in the back with further information about the animals along with thumbnail pictures of each one. A brief bibliography is also appended. You can also go to the authors' website to learn about how the book was made.

Although this book isn't quite as good as some of Jenkins' and Page's other titles for storytime, it would make a great subject for a book club, program, or classroom. After you've studied some of the animals, come up with instructions for other animals not included - or even for human behaviors!

Verdict: A stand-out in the many titles created by Jenkins and Page, this is one you'll definitely want to add to your collection.

ISBN: 9780544313651; Published 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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