The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest

The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest

4.4 11
by Steve Jenkins
     
 

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In this stunning picture book, Steve Jenkins takes us to Mount Everest - exploring its history, geography, climate, and culture. This unique book takes readers on the ultimate adventure of climbing the great mountain. Travel along and learn what to pack for such a trek and the hardships one may suffer on the way to the top. Avalanches, frostbite, frigid temperatures,… See more details below

Overview

In this stunning picture book, Steve Jenkins takes us to Mount Everest - exploring its history, geography, climate, and culture. This unique book takes readers on the ultimate adventure of climbing the great mountain. Travel along and learn what to pack for such a trek and the hardships one may suffer on the way to the top. Avalanches, frostbite, frigid temperatures, wind, and limited oxygen are just a few of the dangers that make scaling this peak one of the most extreme physical challenges one can experience. To stand on the top of Mount Everest is to stand on top of the world. With informative text and exquisitely detailed cut paper illustrations, Steve Jenkins brings this extreme journey alive for young adventurers.

Editorial Reviews

Hungry Mind Review
...[A] certain uniformity in style brings together picture book and reference material....packed with practical facts and technical detail...
Lolly Robinson
Mount Everest may be imposing, but Steve Jenkins takes its measure in a strikingly executed picture book. The cut-paper collage illustrations manage to show the grandeur of the world's tallest mountain with an immediacy that few photographs can. Using textured paper and only a little bit of airbrushing, Jenkins succeeds in the difficult task of creating realistic paper collages. The book follows a logical sequence, beginning with the statistics (where it is, how tall, how it was formed, how to get there, who climbed it first) and continuing with a virtual climbing experience for the reader: "It takes a lot of special gear to climb Mount Everest. Here is some of the equipment you'll need"-a spread displaying a delicious array of impressive rig. By the time we have reached the summit on the last spread, we have gained an understanding of the thrills as well as the immense hardships involved in this climb. Jenkins doesn't avoid details of frostbite and lost fingers, or even the visible litter of used oxygen canisters and frozen bodies of climbers who succumbed to the altitude and had to be left on the mountain. On nearly every spread there is an inset or sidebar providing additional information about glaciers and avalanches, the culture of the Sherpas, why climbers need oxygen, and other facts that are of interest but would break the forward motion of the main story. Exceptional design handles these bits of text remarkably well: the insets are clearly separate from the central spread, using a different background color and smaller type, while the torn paper edges of each sidebar allow it to become integrated into the spread. In a few instances, however, the typeface threatens to become lost in the texture and color variations of its background paper. The subject matter-danger and heroism in a vast, breathtakingly beautiful setting-is inherently suited to a large, colorful picture book; the deft execution of the illustrations brings the whole package to a higher level. One of the pitfalls of using cut paper for realistic illustrations is the disappointing lack of realism in close-ups of faces, which require fine gradations of shading and color. The subject allows Jenkins to avoid this, since the climbers are most often seen completely covered up with scarves, hats, and sungoggles. Another potential difficulty can be depicting vapor and cloud realistically, but Jenkins makes full use of thin, wispy papers and deckle edges to create puffy clouds and blowing snow plumes. The book ends with illustrated back matter: a chart of the tallest summits on each continent, a list of Mount Everest facts and records, a few websites, and a bibliography. From start to finish, Jenkins has created a breathtaking tour-de-force. -- Horn Book Magazine
The New York Times
The book teaches children about the thrills and risks of big mountains without frightening them.
Publishers Weekly
Addressing readers as would-be Everest explorers, Jenkins's book is a compendium of historical info and practical tips, illustrated with stunning cut-paper collage, wrote PW. Ages 6-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A compendium of historical info and practical tips, Jenkins's (Biggest, Strongest, Fastest) overview of the challenges of climbing Mount Everest works best as a showcase for his stunning cut-paper collage art. The artist's skillful juxtaposition of variously textured papers creates some remarkably convincing images of this snow- and ice-filled terrain, and his eye for detail comes through in depictions of climbers and their gear. Addressing readers as would-be Everest explorers, the author favors a second-person narrative: "If you ever want to climb it, here are a few things to think about." The text is a little disjointed: paragraphs describing "your" expedition are accompanied by sidebars and interrupted by spreads with related material (e.g., an illustrated list of necessary equipment). The book design sets off the illustrations beautifully, but sometimes discourages attention to the text. More than a few blocks of copy, dropped onto the textured art, are simply hard to read. Ages 6-10. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Charlie Wyman
Cut paper collage art really works here. The mountain climbers in their gear, including oxygen masks, look strange against the snowy, white-textured background with flakes falling from a dark sky. Readers are introduced to Mount Everest and then Jenkins succinctly relates the preparations and the physical demands that adventurers face when undertaking the ultimate challenge--climbing to the top of the world. It is a challenge beyond most of us, but reading Jenkins' book brings real insight into why and how people climb mountains and Mount Everest in particular.
Library Journal
Gr 2-6-A windfall of facts about Everest and the daring mountaineers who have attempted to reach its summit. Breathtaking cut-paper collages capture the dramatic vistas and the frightening realities of high-altitude climbs. (May) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-Stunning cut-paper collage is used to illustrate the explanation of why and how people climb Mount Everest. Topics are discussed in short takes, seldom more than a paragraph or two placed in varying positions on the full-page artwork or double-page spreads. Beginning with background on the Himalayas, Everest itself, the Sherpas, and the first European explorers, Jenkins goes on to describe materials a climber might need for such a trek: everything from crampons and glacier glasses to ropes and a tent. He touches briefly on the variety of natural life on the mountain as well as the ways human climbers survive the elements and discard their debris. The author maps out the most popular climbing route, explaining the dangers of crevasses, s racs, unstable snow layers, the possibility of an avalanche, and the strong winds from the jet stream. He reports on the physical effects of lack of oxygen and extremely low temperatures. Readers will cheer with the climber illustrated on the summit, and want to go back and pore over the details in the words and pictures again. Suggestions for further reading and Web research conclude this excellent example of pictorial nonfiction.-Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A breathtaking picture-book account of a climb to the top of Mount Everest. Jenkins (Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest, 1998, etc.) documents each step of the way with vivid crushed-paper and cut-paper collages that will rivet viewers. He begins with a world map that shows the Himalayas, recounts efforts to measure the peaks, describes early expeditions, and includes the successful climbs of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, and Rheinhold Messner in 1980. Next, Jenkins illustrates the necessary gear for modern mountain-climbing, and describes the journey itself, beginning in Kathmandu, Nepal, the 100-mile trek to the base of Mount Everest, then step-by-step, up the mountain to the summit. At each step, the striking collages extend the information of the text and capture the majesty of the mountain. Visually arresting and inspiring. (Picture book. 8-12)

From the Publisher

The author-artist who gave us Biggest, Strongest, Fastest (1995) and What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You (1997) turns his attention to a slightly older audience in a picture book that takes readers on an armchair tour up the tallest peak on Earth. In preparation for the trek, Jenkins presents some background on Everest (including a brief comment on the ecological nightmare tourism has caused) and on some of the people who have scaled it. There's also a double-page spread devoted to climbing equipment. Then it's up to the top, complete with descriptions of some of the things climbers may see en route and some insight into how the cold and altitude will affect their bodies. Jenkins' papercut illustrations are extraordinary--feathery light to catch the effect of fog radiating off the mountains, mottled and striated to replicate rocky plateaus, pebbled to look like ice flowers.
Booklist, ALA

Mount Everest may be imposing, but Steve Jenkins takes its measure in a strikingly executed picture book. The cut-paper collage illustrations manage to show the grandeur of the world's tallest mountain with an immediacy that few photographs can. Using textured paper and only a little bit of airbrushing, Jenkins succeeds in the difficult task of creating realistic paper collages. The book follows a logical sequence, beginning with the statistics (where it is, how tall, how it was formed, how to get there, who climbed it first) and continuing with a virtual climbing experience for the reader: "It takes a lot of special gear to climb Mount Everest. Here is some of the equipment you'll need"-a spread displaying a delicious array of impressive rig. By the time we have reached the summit on the last spread, we have gained an understanding of the thrills as well as the immense hardships involved in this climb. Jenkins doesn't avoid details of frostbite and lost fingers, or even the visible litter of used oxygen canisters and frozen bodies of climbers who succumbed to the altitude and had to be left on the mountain. On nearly every spread there is an inset or sidebar providing additional infor-mation about glaciers and avalanches, the culture of the Sherpas, why climbers need oxygen, and other facts that are of interest but would break the forward motion of the main story. Exceptional design handles these bits of text remarkably well: the insets are clearly separate from the central spread, using a different background color and smaller type, while the torn paper edges of each sidebar allow it to become integrated into the spread. The subject matter-danger and heroism in a vast, breathtakingly beautiful setting-is inherently suited to a large, colorful picture book; the deft execution of the illustrations brings the whole package to a higher level. One of the pitfalls of using cut paper for realistic illustrations is the disappointing lack of realism in close-ups of faces, which require fine gradations of shading and color. The subject allows Jenkins to avoid this, since the climbers are most often seen completely covered up with scarves, hats, and sungoggles. Another potential difficulty can be depicting vapor and cloud realistically, but Jenkins makes full use of thin, wispy papers and deckle edges to create puffy clouds and blowing snow plumes. The book ends with illustrated back matter: a chart of the tallest summits on each continent, a list of Mount Everest facts and records, a few websites, and a bibliography. From start to finish, Jenkins has created a breathtaking tour-de-force.
Horn Book

"A breathtaking picture-book account of a climb to the top of Mount Everest. Jenkins (Hottest, Coldest, Highest, Deepest, 1998, etc.) documents each step of the way with vivid crushed-paper and cut-paper collages that will rivet viewers. He begins with a world map that shows the Himalayas, recounts efforts to measure the peaks, describes early expeditions, and includes the successful climbs of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, and Rheinhold Messner in 1980. Next, Jenkins illustrates the necessary gear for modern mountain-climbing, and describes the journey itself, beginning in Kathmandu, Nepal, the 100-mile trek to the base of Mount Everest, then step-by-step, up the mountain to the summit. At each step, the striking collages extend the information of the text and capture the majesty of the mountain. Visually arresting and inspiring." Kirkus Reviews

"The book teaches children about the thrills and risks of big mountains without frightening them." The New York Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547349565
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/29/2002
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
830,987
Lexile:
AD890L (what's this?)
File size:
50 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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