What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?


A pygmy shrew is small; it's among the smallest of mammals. What could be smaller? Well, a ladybug--a pygmy shrew would look like a mammoth to a ladybug's eyes. But then, that same ladybug would look gigantic next to protozoa.Robert E. Wells, author of Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? now invites you to explore the large world of the very small.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $2.97   
  • New (5) from $8.58   
  • Used (5) from $2.97   

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (NOOK Kids - Digital Original)
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.


A pygmy shrew is small; it's among the smallest of mammals. What could be smaller? Well, a ladybug--a pygmy shrew would look like a mammoth to a ladybug's eyes. But then, that same ladybug would look gigantic next to protozoa.Robert E. Wells, author of Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? now invites you to explore the large world of the very small.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Clayton Rowen
The book begins by comparing the size of a pygmy shrew to a toadstool, an elephant and a ladybug. The composition of smaller and smaller particles is explored. Illustrations of paramecia, bacteria, molecules, atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons and quarks are included along with the explanation that in order to view these a special microscope is needed. A small glossary is also included. The magnified illustrations help to clarify the vocabulary.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-4In this presentation that goes from small to infinitesimal, Wells compares the size of a tiny animal (a pygmy shrew) to an insect (a ladybug), which is in turn contrasted with one-celled animals, bacteria, molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles. Bright, colorful cartoons and a text that looks like hand lettering in a variety of fonts are jauntily arranged across the pages. Readers are encouraged to try to imagine being the sizes of the creatures under discussion. This lighthearted treatment is fine for the familiar, but begins to become confusing for a paramecium, an amoeba, and bacteria. Viruses are skipped as the narrative continues to include molecules, atoms, quarks, and electrons of the physical sciences instead of a parallel journey through diminishing sizes in the animal world to perhaps ovum, sperm, and DNA. The book has the look of an introduction for young readers. As the narrative continues, however, many terms are introduced, without pronunciation guides even in the two-page glossary, and the cartoon approach becomes cluttered and less effective.Frances E. Millhouser, Reston Regional Library, VA
Carolyn Phelan
In "Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?" (1993), Wells used words and pictures to give young children an inkling of how big things can be. In his latest book, he reverses the concept to introduce smallness. A pygmy shrew looks small beside an elephant, but not when it's next to a ladybug. In turn, the ladybug looks enormous compared to a paramecium. Showing that even a single cell is not the smallest thing, Wells introduces molecules, atoms, electrons, and quarks. The acrylic-and-ink artwork includes touches of humor. Despite the inherent problems in illustrating what cannot be observed, Wells introduces a challenging concept in a way that will entertain and intrigue young children.
From the Publisher

"This lighthearted look at size features engaging pen and acrylic illustrations and a clear, informative text."

The Horn Book Guide

"Wells introduces a challenging concept in a way that will entertain and intrigue young children."


Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807588376
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Series: Wells of Knowledge Science Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.82 (w) x 7.33 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Read an Excerpt

What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?

By Robert E. Wells


Copyright © 1995 Robert E. Wells
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8075-8838-3


How small would you say that small really is? Is something you can hold in your hand, like a blueberry, small? How about a grain of sand?

Yes, it's true we could call those things small. But in this book, you'll find much, MUCH smaller things—things you cannot ordinarily see.

Unless, of course, you look through a MICROSCOPE.

An ordinary (optical) microscope bends light rays in a way that makes objects appear larger than they really are. With this you can see things you may not have known existed. You can discover, for example, that many tiny creatures live inside a single water drop. But did you know that there is a world of things too small to be seen with an ordinary microscope? To see these things, you need to use a much more powerful instrument-an electron microscope, which uses electrons rather than light rays to scan images. This is the kind that many scientists use.

The world of the Very Small is almost unbelievably tiny, and hard to imagine. But it's quite real. In fact, it's just as real as a blueberry.

Everyone knows you can stretch your mind by thinking big. Do you suppose it's also possible to stretch your mind by thinking small?

This is a PYGMY SHREW. From the end of her nose to the tip of her tail, she's only about 3 inches (7 ½ centimeters) long.

If you were a pygmy shew, you'd feel mighty small. Even some TOADS TOOLS would be taller than you!

If you happened to meet an ELEPHANT, you'd probably think you were the smallest thing in the UNIVERSE!

Compared to an elephant, the largest land mammal, she looks very small indeed.

But pygmy shrew, you're not so small. Not compared to a LADY BUG.

Lady bugs are a kind of beetle, and beetles are just one of the many kinds of insects. Pygmy shrews are insect eaters, but they prefer to leave lady bugs alone. They know that lady bugs have a bitter taste!


Excerpted from What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? by Robert E. Wells. Copyright © 1995 Robert E. Wells. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book helps to stimulate young readers minds on the subject of atoms. It is a great book for young readers who enjoy science.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)