I love Steve Jenkins and Robin Page so I didn't really even have to open this new book (How to Swallow A Pig: Step By Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom) by this pair before I decided we needed it for our classroom. I don't have one book by Jenkins that I don't find fascinating (and I think I have them all!). He is not only brilliant in the way that he shares information so that kids understand it but his organization and design for each book is amazing to me. I remember reading his book Down, Down, Down: A Story to the Bottom of the Sea and being intrigued by how he got the idea to focus and organize a book by going further and further below sea level to see what was there.
I am just as intrigued with this book. It's actually a How-To book which I find rather amusing. Each two-page spread teaches the reader how to do something that animals can do. The introduction to the book is great. Jenkins says, "So, you want to learn how to swallow a pig. You've come to the right place. Follow these step-by-step instructions, and soon you'll acquire the dining skills of a large snake..." He goes on to tell readers that there are other great skills to learn too.
Each 2 page spread focuses on a skill that readers can learn-For example, "Crack a Nut Like a Crow" and "Spin a Web Like a Spider" are two of my favorites. Jenkins takes a step by step look at how these things are accomplished and breaks them down into a set of how-to directions. Such a creative way to share this information.
I learned a great deal reading this book I think kids will enjoy the format (and as always, the art too!). It is a book that can be read from cover to cover. But it is also one that can be used in pieces--each two-page spread stands alone so each can be studied and discussed separately too. A good one for nonfiction book talks I think!