From School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Jenkins's trademark illustrations, watercolor cut-paper collage, are perfect for this exploration of wings. From the striped, transparent wings of the ancient dragonfly to the crushed, leathery wings of the vampire bat, each illustration captures the uniqueness of the appendage it portrays. In addition to the large, double-page collages, small, computer-produced, spot illustrations clarify points in the text. With their creamy colors and sharp outlines, these tiny pictures are lovely as well as informative. The text is brief. Three fonts cue readers to the three different types of information: 1) a one- or two-line description; 2) a caption for the large illustration; and 3) a more-detailed explanation of the flight of a specific animal. How flies land on the ceiling, how butterflies take off straight up from a flower, how hummingbirds hover-all are clarified in word and picture. An appendix provides an additional paragraph about the animal introduced on each spread. An excellent introduction.
Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4-8. Jenkins returns with his expert cut-paper illustrations in this fact-packed title coauthored by his wife. Designed for multiple age levels, the text combines simple, declarative statement in large type--"Insects were the first flying animals," for example--with paragraphs in a smaller font that expand on the spread's topic. The dramatic collages match the text's proportions, with captivating images of an animal in flight dominating the pages, as smaller drawings illustrate ideas in the in-depth paragraphs. The results are not always successful: the smaller font often seems too small, although plain white backgrounds increase visibility. But both images and text will excite children about flight's miraculous possibilities and answer questions about how flight evolved, what flies, how it's done, and why. A concluding spread offers more coverage of the animals featured throughout the book. An attractive, informative choice for sharing with kids almost ready to read on their own. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved