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Big and Little Hardcover – October 28, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K?A 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
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4^-7. Jenkins, whose previous picture books include Biggest, Strongest, Fastest (1995), here points out the differences in size between animals who are similar in other ways. The artwork combines cuttings of colored, textured papers to form animals that stand out strikingly against white backgrounds. Each spread features a large animal and a related smaller one: sea otter and elephant seal, Siberian tiger and Siamese cat, ostrich and ruby-throated hummingbird. One line of text comments on the two animals' sizes, habits, or habitats. The final pages include a presentation of the comparative sizes of all the animals, a paragraph of additional information about each species, and a bibliography. With its visually striking images and easily digestible bits of information, this will please both young children and their parents Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 3 years
  • Lexile Measure: 1030L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 28, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395726646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395726648
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This 1996 book is a precursor to Jenkins' highly acclaimed "Actual Size" (2004). While the latter book fulfills the title's promise by showing animals and animal body parts in their actual size, this book shows them in 1:8 scale; that is, the animals are drawn accurately, but 1/8 smaller than actual size. Although many of the two books' animals are the same, and Jenkins again contrasts large and small animals for contrast and wonder, "Big and Little" is simply not as fascinating as "Actual Size."

Unlike "Actual Size," "Big and Little" shows most of the animals in their entirety. Once doesn't get the "WOW" factor of looking straight into a close-up of giant squid's eyes or a shark's mouth. Big and Little relies greatly on the contrasting sizes of animal pairs on two-page spread ; for example, a Siberian tiger and a Siamese cat, an ostrich and a hummingbird, a cat shark and a great white shark. While Jenkins uses the cut-paper collages of "Actual Size," he seems more timid here; the animal hides and skins are less textured and the color schemes more conventional. Jenkins again includes brief descriptions of each animal pictured in the book, but they are shorter and not as interesting as in his latter book.

If "Actual Size" had never been written I'd give this a higher rating; with his new book Jenkins has set a higher standard for himself and other writers. The main advantages of "Big and Little" are the lower price and the relatively more simple pictures that may be more comprehensible than "Actual Size" to very young toddlers or infants. Aside from that, I strongly recommend his newer book over this one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after I became familiar with it while researching books about animals for a class project I am working on. The cut-paper collages are beautiful, and visually stunning. The simple text following the shape of the larger animal adds to the appeal of this book. I think this is a great book for young children to introduce them to animals in general, and also the concept of big and little. I am so glad I bought this book, and I know my own children will enjoy reading it, and I can also use it in my preschool classroom. I know this will be a go to book for a long time to come. I would highly recommend this book!
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