Monday, April 28, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You

What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You?
Written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin, 1997

I don’t know HOW I have missed this book before. It was published in 1997!! And I just discovered it a few weeks ago. I love Steve Jenkins’ books. They are great for many ages, from toddlers who love the pictures and the shorter text, to upper elementary readers, who love to read the fine print full of facts, and really still love his illustrations.

This book is about animal defense mechanisms. What do animals do when something tries to eat them? Well, Steve Jenkins chooses animals that kids will know, like the octopus that squirts black ink and the puffer fish who puffs out. But he also chooses lesser known facts that kids will find interesting like this one: “The basilisk lizard is known in South America as the Jesus Chris lizard. It can escape its enemies by running across the surface of ponds and streams, using its large feet and great speed to keep it from sinking into the water.”

This book has Jenkins stunning signature cut paper collage illustrations. It doesn’t include extra facts at the back of the book or within the text, like many of his other books do. Still, a fun, fact-filled read. I will be using this with my fourth graders in my animal adaptations unit.
Nonfiction Monday roundup is at Picture Book a Day.

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