Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World
by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
Houghton Mifflin, 2008
review copy compliments of the publisher
We've been paying close attention to the ways nonfiction texts are organized. Some present the information by comparing similarities, while others contrast differences. Some use a time line to lay out the facts in chronological order. Most use some form of topic (usually the title or subject matter of the book) -- subtopic (often page-by-page) -- and detail (more and more the details are found in the back of the book) structure.
"Sibling relationships in the animal world" is the topic of Jenkins and Page's newest collaborative venture. The illustrations are classic Jenkins -- gorgeous and captivating cut- and torn-paper collages. Each page or spread has a sort of tab of torn paper, either at the top or bottom, on which can be found the subtopic for that page. In addition, each page has a statement, phrase, or question in large font near the illustration that summarizes the details or draws the reader into the paragraph of details about that animal's sibling relationships. For example, on the page with the New Mexico whiptail lizards, the tab is "Sisters," and the large font phrase reads, "Girls rule!" The reader is hooked into learning about an animal species that is entirely female. Only girls are born in New Mexico whiptail families, and the species reproduces without males.
In the back of the book is a paragraph of general information about each animal featured in the book: its size, what it eats, and where it lives.
This is a great book for any classroom or collection serving animal lovers, and an excellent mentor text for a study on the organization of nonfiction text, both for readers and for writers.
The Nonfiction Monday round up is at Picture Book of the Day.