Reading with Pearl: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

IMG_7125(Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004)

Steve Jenkins does all kinds of creative and interesting books for children about the natural world. His book Actual Size lets children get up close and personal with wild animals in a unique way. The premise is simple but fascinating: every picture of an animal in the book is the actual size of that animal in real life. From the pygmy shrew on the first page (2 inches long) to the saltwater crocodile (23 feet long) whose head and jaw folds out over three pages, each animal is shown in its true-to-life size.

A crocodile is bigger than my dining room table.

Obviously some of those animals are shown more completely than others but it’s a really fun way for kids to see just how big (or how small) some of these creatures are. You can compare your tooth size with a Siberian Tiger or your eyeball with a giant squid or imagine how many dwarf gobys could fit in the palm of your hand.

For any kid interested in animals and the natural world, Jenkins’ art is a great, simple introduction.

4 thoughts on “Reading with Pearl: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins”

  1. Wow, that’s a fantastic idea! On a related but odd connection: when I was in elementary school, we had a pink laminated 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper taped up on one wall of the gym. On that piece of paper was a photocopy of Michael Jordon’s hand. It filled the whole page, and I never forgot that. I loved putting my hand up against his and being awed.

    1. Yeah, Jenkins’ stuff is really creative. And I remember a similar poster of Michael Jordan with his arms outspread being popular when I was in high school!

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