From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 3-6 From the life-sized human skull grinning out from the brick-red cover to a complete skeleton waving goodbye from a gatefold late in the book, bones are given an entertaining and fresh treatment. Beginning with the opening spread of life-sized animal bones, human bones are quantified and qualified. Hands, feet, femurs, ribs, spine, and skull are shown and compared to other species. Symmetry and joints as well as adaptations for survival are introduced. Humor abounds in the illustrations as well as in subheadings such as, That's a Handful, Big Foot, and Head Case. Readers will be lured in by interactive touches like What bone is this? and the Some Assembly Required spread with all 206 adult human bones unlabeled and grouped by body area. Displayed against a navy-blue background, the spread opens to the burnt sienna gatefold mentioned above. Two additional gatefolds include a small python (200 ribs) and a collection of skulls. Jenkins's characteristic cut-paper collages in mottled creams and grays are perfectly suited to the topic and contrasted against solid jewel-tone, full-bleed backgrounds. The precise and scaled representations (many life size) are clearly labeled. Text, other than an opening page, is limited and supports the highly visual and sophisticated treatment. A More About Bones spread completes the book with a hodgepodge of fascinating facts. With applications that range from anatomy to evolution and mathematics, this book will find a place in every collection. Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
One of the foremost illuminators of the animal kingdom here takes a peek beneath the skin. He begins with a single human finger bone, then shows where it fits in the hand, then attaches the arm bones and sets it aside the forelimbs of a mole, spider monkey, gray whale, turtle, and fruit bat to illustrate how they all share the same basic structure. Similar comparisons take a look at feet, legs, rib cages, necks, and heads, almost always using a consistent scale to display the relative size of elephant and stork legs or a giraffe and human neck. Jenkins provides concise chunks of text alongside his always impressive cut-paper collages, which are a little more understated than in some of his other dynamic books (the color scheme ranges from ashy white to dusty gray, with a few touches of calcified yellow). But the clean design of the intricate skeletons set against solid background colors is striking and provides a wonderful visual introduction to what keeps us all upright. Thoughtful back matter probes deeper into bone-related science concepts. Grades 2-5. --Ian Chipman