Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, May 5, 2014

Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World

Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World 
by Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
ISBN: 9780547959078
Grades K-5

The reviewer borrowed a copy of the book from the public library. 

Readers will be mesmerized by Eye to Eye from the moment they pick up the book. The latest informational picture book from Steve Jenkins focuses on the eyes of animals, as you can see from the twelve eyes on the cover.

At first glance,  I was expecting the 32 page book to be a slim survey of animal eyes, but I was wrong. Jenkins teaches readers about four different kinds of eyes and how they have evolved over time. Upon opening the book, readers are met with an up-close, full-page illustration of a red-crowned Amazon parrot staring back at them as Jenkins introduces the topic of the book. The book is organized by eye type with the simplest eyes in the front to the most complex eyes near the back.  Using his signature cut paper collage, Jenkins illustrates eyes of various animals while also providing readers with interesting facts about the creatures. Did you know the tarsier's eyeball is larger than its brain?

The picture book format and book design with large font and lots of white space make this an ideal book for young readers, yet older children will be attracted to the richness of the content. An example is the page near the back that shows the evolution of the eye over time from the simplest form (eyespot of the starfish) to the most complex (camera eye of the dog). Back matter includes a page of animal facts, glossary and bibliography. Don't miss this latest masterpiece by Steve Jenkins, and don't be fooled by the size of the book. It covers complex information that will teach readers about the structure and evolution of eyes and could serve as a springboard for readers who wish to learn more.

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