Sunday, November 29, 2009


Steve Jenkins is one of my favorite nonfiction authors/illustrators. I love the way he organizes information and the combination of his words and his art is always a great combination.

I love this new book. So many of Jenkins' books are difficult to read aloud because there is so much on the page. But I think this new one, NEVER SMILE AT A MONKEY: AND 17 OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER would make a great nonfiction read aloud. The premise of the book is that things are dangerous. In his introduction Jenkins says, "What makes these animals dangerous? And what should you NEVER do if you encounter one of them?" He then goes on to tell us.

Each page focuses on one important thing to remember such as NEVER PET A PLATYPUS or NEVER STARE AT A SPITTING COBRA. Following the directive is a paragraph explaining a bit about the animal and why the creature may react to such a behavior. A large illustration of the animal also accompanies the text. There is a lot to learn in this book and kids are always fascinated by animals --especially the dangerous ones. The back of the book includes additional information about the creatures in the book.

So many books are written about a specific animal and I always love the uniqueness of Steve Jenkins' book topics. I think a nonfiction author study on Jenkins would be great. I also think his books have great lessons for our nonfiction writers in writing workshop. I can't wait to see what he writes next!


  1. Blogged about this one a few weeks ago... love it! Such a creative man! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Isn't Steve great? I'm going to show some art from this one soon. So good.

  3. Yeah! Another monkey book (and other cool stuff)for my son! :)


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