July 15, 2011

Book Review – Actual Size

9780547512914_lresDo you know how big your hand is compared to a gorilla’s hand?

Have you ever looked a giant squid in the eye?

Would your head fit in a crocodile’s mouth?

Find out all this and more in Actual Size, by Steve Jenkins.  The book shows actual-size collage illustrations of a variety of animals.  Some illustrations can include the whole animal, like the world’s smallest fish the dwarf goby (9 mm), others show only the part of the animal that can fit on the page, like the 60-cm long anteater’s tongue.

Our favourite is the shark …
This is too close to a great white shark!
And have you heard of the giant Gippsland earthworm.  It lives in Australia and is the world’s largest earthworm.  As it moves through the ground it creates a sucking noise that can be heard above the ground.\

The book is full of fascinating facts sure to appeal to children and is a wonderfully helpful way to understand animals.  It is much easier to understand how and why animals might behave in certain ways if you can understand how big or small they are.

Steve Jenkins has written a lot of other similar, fascinating sounding, books to illustrate amazing facts about animals.  I will definitely be on the lookout for Steve Jenkins from now on.

You can take the fun a bit further with your child by comparing them with their favourite animal. 
B’s favourite animal is a tiger.  We did some research with Google …

Tigers weigh up to 363 kg.  B weighs 18 kg.  Dad weighs 92 kg.  In fact, our whole family combined weighs less than a tiger.  Until the boys grow up that is!

Tigers can stretch to 2 metres long and their tail is 1 metre long.  So, B is just a bit longer than the tiger’s tail.  You can draw these lengths in chalk outside so your child can see the comparison.

A tiger can jump to a distance of around 10 metres (a running jump, long jump style, I presume).  How far can you long jump?

These facts are from National Geographic Kids and Wikipedia (obviously, I’m not writing a research paper on tigers here, just playing around with my kids)

Have you read any good children’s books lately?

1 comment:

Tamsyn said...

Sounds like an awesome book! I'm so much looking forward to Max being old enough to get excited by these kinds of things!