From the Publisher
"The distinctive cut-paper collages are real showstoppers. The placement of each one against a crisp white background cleverly underscores the differences in size." School Library Journal, Starred
School Library Journal
PreS-KA visually striking introduction to pairs of animals that are related but greatly disparate in size. A sentence offering a fact about and the size relationship between each set of creatures curves around the larger one, accentuating its shape and becoming part of the graphic design. The distinctive cut-paper collages are real showstoppers. The placement of each one against a crisp white background cleverly underscores the differences in size. For example, the tail of the great white shark is shown, and on the following double-page spread the rest of the body swims fiercely, thereby emphasizing its enormity. Through an artful use of color and texture, the marbleized skin of the python and the wrinkled hide of the crocodile seem amazingly real. In several cases, there is a playful overlapping among the animals, as when the gray wolf looks hungrily at the opossum and the tiny painted turtle swims calmly behind the huge shark. As well as offering an inventive exploration of the concepts of big and little, this title serves as an introduction to a group of animals, several of which are endangered. At the back of the book, a paragraph about each one extends the brief text.Caroline Ward, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
Handsome textured cut-paper collages on white paper show animals of the same species that are vastly different in size. Since each pair is created to scale (1" = 8"), viewers can make comparisons. A preface explains that various animals grew bigger or smaller over time to adapt to their habitats. Subsequent spreads depict pairs from the same speciesone big, one littlewhile a single line of text, curving around the larger animal, introduces them: "Both the Nile crocodile and the African chameleon live in tropical Africa." Most of the pairs do not inhabit the same habitat: Siamese cats and tigers are not found together, nor are fennec foxes and gray wolves. Animals include the hummingbird and ostrich, sea otter and elephant seal, capybara and deer mouse. Final pages show the animals in silhouette to scale, with a paragraph of information on each.
The collages show artistic license: The Siamese cat is charcoal- colored, instead of the more common representation of buff with dark ears and tail; the capybara doesn't appear to have webbed feet; the Virginia opossum looks strangely unlike itself. The main problem is that Jenkins (Looking Down, 1995, etc.) is unclear about his audience: The opening paragraph on evolution is difficult for young readers; the rest of the book does not reinforce that paragraph for older readers and will put them off as little more than a naming or comparison game.