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What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? Paperback – Picture Book, March 18, 2008
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“…this array of wide eyes and open mouths will definitely have viewers responding with wide eyes and open mouths of their own.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“This is a striking, thoughtfully created book with intriguing facts made more memorable through dynamic art.” Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
“Jenkin’s cut–paper collage illustrations are, as usual, ingenious and remarkable in their clarity, their several components neatly articulating the anatomy of their subjects.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Steve Jenkins contributes another artistically wrought, imaginatively conceived look at the natural world.” Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor–winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page.
Robin Page lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and collaborator, Steve Jenkins, and their three children. She has worked on numerous bestselling and award winning titles, including Caldecott Honoree What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?. Along with writing and illustrating children’s books, Steve and Robin run a graphic design studio.
- Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition (March 18, 2008)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 061899713X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0618997138
- Reading age : 4 - 7 years
- Lexile measure : 510L
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 9.75 x 0.12 x 9.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #68,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The animals are rendered with great richness and depth by (if you look closely) beautiful torn-paper collages. It's so skillfully done by Steve Jenkins that all of the creatures are full of personality, and seem to live in a batik-cartoon world.
The riveting part is how there are so many animals that each have unusual stories revealed through fun and different and interesting body parts. This is not a "first animals" book at all. Rather it gains its fascination by showing how animals make so many different uses of their body parts, uses that go against what you first think.
For instance: A platypus uses its nose "to dig in the mud." But "[i]f you're an elephant, you use your nose to give yourself a bath" [image of trunk squirting water back over elephant's head]. For ears, you learn that a jackrabbit uses its ears to keep cool, and crickets have ears on their knees. A chimpanzee can eat with its feet, and a gecko's feet are sticky so it can walk on the ceiling. And so on.
Engrossing and whimsical from page to page again and again. Just wonderful!
At the end of the book, a section includes a one-paragraph "bio" with additional details about each animal, with the rest of the story on the unique appendage. For example, the chimpanzee has some general description, and also this detail about how they eat with their feet: "Like people, they have an opposable thumb. Unlike us, thy also have an opposable big toe. This allows them to pick up and manipulate things with their feet." This description is obviously way more advanced than the book itself -- but children love to hear more of the story about characters or animals from the adult reading to them, and this book gives you (the adult) the back story for every one of them.
I was floored when What Do You Do with a Tail Like This arrived. Giggly and awed at the same time. The reviews didn't prepare me for how much I'd viscerally like this book the moment I opened it! I cannot recommend this highly enough!
But the fact is that the illustrations are incredible! It looks like the images are made entirely out of paper and fabric, which creates an alluring abstract (and intriguing) aesthetic much like Eric Carle's awesome illustrations.
I had my doubts before I purchased this book, but when I saw it I was so glad I did.