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Biggest, Strongest, Fastest Paperback – August 25, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2?Large, clear print; fascinating facts; and beautiful, detailed, cut-paper collages make this excellent title a delight. One main fact is presented per spread about each of 14 animals, e.g., "The Etruscan shrew, the world's smallest mammal, could sleep in a teaspoon." Two more relevant facts are given in smaller print. Silhouette drawings show comparative sizes?the blue whale is shown next to an adult human. The realistic, inventive, textured illustrations, mostly double spreads, flow smoothly from page to page. A helpful chart at the end contains further information about each creature, such as diet and habitat. An all-round superlative effort.?Jan Shepherd Ross, Dixie Elementary Magnet School, Lexington, KY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Ages 4-9. Beautiful double-page-spread cut-paper collages illustrate a picture book about "some of the biggest and smallest, fastest and slowest, strongest and longest" record holders in the animal world. The facts are amazing. Their juxtaposition makes you gasp, not just about size and speed but about comparative wonders. Right after the African elephant, which eats more than 300 pounds of grass and leaves every day, there's a close-up two-page picture of an ant, which turns out to be the strongest animal for its size: it can carry five times its own weight. The book's design makes it accessible at many levels. The youngest can identify the various creatures. Preschoolers can enjoy the one-sentence descriptions in large type ("The cheetah can run faster than any other animal. . . . The flea is very small, but it is the world's best jumper"). Older kids will love thinking about the additional facts regarding scale and proportion that are printed in small type, accompanied by a tiny silhouette in the corner of each picture ("If a 5 1/2-foot-tall woman could jump as well as a flea, she could leap to the top of a 65-story building"). Here's proof that power isn't just about size and that science can be a lot of fun. Hazel Rochman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 7/26/97 edition (August 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395861365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395861363
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ever since I discovered Steve Jenkins, I've been seeking out each and every one of his books. I love his illustration style, and his books lay the groundwork for a love of science and an interest in the wonders of the world. This book nicely complements Animal Dads, What Do You Do With a Tail Like This, and What Do You Do When Something Wants To Eat You. All of these titles illustrate biological variation, adaptation, and the relationship between form and function. Yet the illustrations are bold and uncluttered and the text is short and easy to read aloud. Like his other books, Biggest, Strongest, Fastest features the main text in a large font with additional information (2 or 3 sentences) in a smaller font. You can decide to read more about an animal depending on your child's interest level. What I really like about this book is that it also takes advantage of children's natural fascination with superlatives. You don't just read about any snake, you learn about the biggest snake (the anaconda). Every new animal illustration is accompanied by a smaller picture showing the relative sizes of the animal and a human. Preschoolers and kindergarteners absorb new information and facts like a sponge, so don't be surprised if your child starts to recite information from the book when you visit the zoo. Whether you simply want to celebrate diversity in animal life or you want to lay a foundation for discussing evolution when a child is older, this book is a great choice for young children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Steve Jenkins' books/illustrations, and have collected every one of his books and often give them as gifts. Unfortunately, I feel this one isn't as stunning of some of his more recent work. The colors aren't as vibrant, the illustrations aren't as complex, and the concept isn't as creative.
I'd go with some of the newer work: Never Smile at a Monkey, Top of the World..., Actual Size, My First Day, or my personal favorite: What Do You Do With A Tail Like This?

That being said, it should be noted that Biggest, Strongest, Fastest was published more than a decade before many of the ones I listed, which means that unlike many authors/illustrators who create 2nd rate knockoffs of their successful books, Steve Jenkins is constantly improving...both in illustrative quality and in story creativity. Some of his more recent work deserves 5/5 stars, if not 6, because he accomplishes not only the most incredible/unique illustrations, but comes up with such fun and creative story lines...allowing children to interact with the books.
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Format: Paperback
My daughters (ages 4 and 7) really enjoy being read to, and this is one book that we own that I actually enjoy reading to them. I like this book because it has not only taught my girls some facts about the animal kingdom, but I have learned as well. We really enjoy learning about the diverse animals found around the world, and Jenkins' book has led us to learning more about these animals on YouTube. My girls always want me to quiz them about the animals found in this book. Simple one-sentence facts are provided of each animal, and additional facts that are more detailed are provided in smaller font. The bright cut-paper collages of the animals are eye-catching, and I really like the helpful chart at the back of the book. All 14 animals are listed, and information concerning the size, diet, location and uniqueness of each animal is provided. This was a great Christmas gift from grandpa and grandma.
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By MomOfTwo on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 5-year old son never gets tired of reading this book! Great details and context provided, so that a young child can grasp just how big, fast, strong, etc., these animals are.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
in both its words and its images, this Steve Jenkins book for youngsters is charming, informative — engaging.
a fine book for you to read to them, and then for them to pick up for themselves.
my granddaughters applaud and holler for more!
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely love Steve Jenkins books. They are an excellent way to introduce non-fiction to young readers. Many young children are reluctant to read non-fiction because of the lack of entertainment in them. However, this book uses amazing artwork and intriguing facts about animals. The side illustrations that show comparisons to people are also wonderful because the students can make the connections. This is a must-have book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The artwork in this well made paperback book is exceptional. Each page explains the strength of the animal, providing facts about each of the Biggest, Strongest, Fastest! Although I sent it to a relative for her grandchildren, I may order another copy for me to re-read! Check it out and savor it! Kudos to Amazon for offering this book!

Kathleen
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Format: Paperback
I love this book and so does my daughter. She learns alot and has fun. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Seller shipped very quickly.
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