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Actual Size (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards)) Hardcover – May 25, 2004
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Each spread of Actual Size presents a new animal or two for readers to check out, along with a few interesting facts and physical dimensions. Some of the colorful collages display the entire animal at actual scale (like the fleshy, 36-inch length of a giant Gippsland earthworm)while others can only feature what fits on the page (an African elephant's foot, a Siberian tiger's face, or even just a gaping maw sporting a few four-inch-long teeth of a great white shark). Two fun fold-outs show a Goliath frog ("It's big enough to catch and eat birds and rats") and the long, toothy smile of a saltwater crocodile ("the world's largest reptile... a man-eater").
Jenkins' collages capture the texture and color of these cut-out creatures, and the thoughtful inclusion of an illustrated index shows each animal in its scaled-down entirety, accompanied by longer, fact-filled descriptions. While younger kids might not appreciate the subtlety of the book's clever "actual-size" trope, readers young and old will love all the close-up views and learn a few things along the way. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
The premise of "Actual Size" is canny. Using his customary illustration techniques of utilizing cut and torn paper, author/illustrator Steve Jenkins has created a book full of different kinds of animals. But unlike your average book that, say, summarizes the wingspan of the atlas moth, each illustration in this story is actual size. Which is to say, if the pygmy shrew is only two inches long, then the illustration of that shrew in this book will also be two inches long. This makes for some highly original displays. There's no way you could fit the entire giant squid into the book's pages. Therefore, one two-page spread is devoted entirely to the giant squid's eye (12 inches across and freaky freaky freaky). Other pages display an anteater's two-foot-long tongue (twisted about to fit in the necessary illustration). We get an up close and personal view of the four-inch jagged teeth of the great white shark.Read more ›
Although most of the pictures take up two pages, Jenkins varies the animals, as well as how "close" they appear to the reader: HE begins with the largest butterfly (with a 12 inch wingspan), then contrasts this with a close-up of the eye of a giant squid. The WOW fact is just as big. In fact, it's so riveting that you might not see the smallish fish (the goby, 1/3 of an inch long) just opposite the butterfly. Termites are dwarfed by the two-foot tongue of their predator, the giant anteater. The picture consists of a 15-inch snout and a two-foot pink tongue, covered with four small termites. Here's a good question to ask your readers: How do you draw a two-foot tongue on a two-page spread that measures not quite 20 inches long? By making it curl around. The book is full of such opportunities for wide-eyed talk. A foot long spider (the "giant birdeater tarantula," with 12 inch legs, and a fantastic name) is followed by a three-page foldout of a crocodile. " What do they eat? People, among other things.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a favorite of our 4 year old. The book is interesting, educational and fun.Published 3 months ago by K. Grana
Amazing for teaching size, scale, measurements, measuring length that is not a straight line, proportions and other mathematical concepts for elementary, but possibly also older... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Elena
Kind of cute for young children, but not a book to be cherished or used much beyond the initial novelty.Published 6 months ago by dakwriter
This book was recommended on a Tweet that was supposed to help improve spatial awareness. My 4 year old daughter absolutely loves this book as do I. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Krista
Had to return. Pictures were in the wrong order. Picked up a used one at goodwill and it was bound in the right order. This was a great book and the grand kids loved it.Published 7 months ago by Betteb
We all love this book. First checked it out at the library when my 10 year old was in preschool, and have bought it and other titles by Steve Jenkins many times over as gifts for... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Boys' mom