Amy Says Read This

Seriously, you should totally read this.


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What Do You Do With A Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

Jenkins, S., & Page, R. (2003). What do you do with a tail like this?. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN: 9780618256280

Annotation: Many animals have developed specialized body parts to help them survive. This book looks at some of these animals and their unique characteristics.

Reaction: I love Jenkin’s paper collages. They add such great depth and texture to the illustrations and really help make the pictures come to life, which is great for this nonfiction book about animals.

Jenkins and Page look at animal features, such as noses, tails, eyes, feet, mouths, etc, and talk about some animals who use that feature in a unique, specific way. It’s actually really cool to see how different animals use something as seemingly simple as eyes, and I learned about some animals I had never heard of before that did things I didn’t know they could do. The text in the book is pretty simple, giving the reader a one sentence fact about each animal, and at the end, Jenkins and Page include an index that has more information about each of the animals.

This is a great book for any animal lovers of any age.

Media Used: Cut paper collage

Steve Jenkins’s Website

No Robin Page Website


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Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

Image found here

Image found here

Jenkins, S. (2004). Actual Size. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN: 9780618375943

Annotation: This book shows many of the world’s largest and smallest animals at actual size.

Reaction: This book is great for showing readers how diverse and wonderful the world is. Jenkins uses beautiful, intricate paper collages to present readers with many different large and small animals. The large animals especially stand out, as in order to show the actual size, Jenkins only includes as much as will fit on the page: a giant squid’s eye, an elephants foot, a giant anteater’s tongue. It is somewhat startling to see just how big some of these animals are and how small you are in comparison. The text gives the name of the animal and a fact about them, and at the very end, Jenkins has included an index of the animals, providing a picture and some more information about each of them.

I think readers of all ages would appreciate this book and be amazed at how large a gorilla’s palm is or how small the smallest fish is.

Media Used: Collage of cut and torn paper

Author’s Website


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Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

DaCosta, B., & Young, E. (ill.) (2012). Nighttime ninja. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN: 9780316203845

Annotation: Late at night, when everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps through the house on a secret mission.

Reaction: This is an exciting adventure story that highlights a child’s imagination and ability for creative play. Throughout the story we see the ninja as he sees himself, and it’s not until the end when he’s busted while on his mission that we see him as he really is. I love the way his mother plays along with him and gives him a new “back-to-bed mission” rather than scolding him or ignoring his play.

The illustrations are what really make this book outstanding. Young’s use of paper, cloth and string add texture and depth to the images and really make the story come alive. Dacosta’s text is simple and plain and allows the illustrations to do most of the heavy lifting.

I think this book could inspire kids do some of their own creative play and let their imaginations create new personas and adventures.

Winner 2013 Children’s Choice Book Awards

Media Used: Cut paper, textured cloth, string and colored pencil

Author’s Website

Illustrator’s Website


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Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

Slater, D., & Docampo, V. (ill.) (2012). Dangerously ever after. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780803733749

Annotation: Princess Amanita loves all sorts of dangerous things, and she has the most dangerous garden around, full of prickly, sharp, hard and smelly things. So when Prince Florian introduces her to roses, a pretty flower with big thorns, she must have some.

Reaction: This book is adorable and silly and wonderful. Princess Amanita is a delightful, sassy princess who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty working in her garden. The dangerous plants in her garden are imaginative and sure to make readers giggle.

Docampo’s illustrations are lovely and the perfect complement to Slater’s story. The drawings capture Amanita’s spirit, and I love the Royal kitties who follow Amanita and Florian around.

This book is great for young readers, giving them a sort of silly story and a strong heroine who doesn’t conform to traditional expectations for princesses.

Media Used: None listed

Author’s Website

Illustrator’s Website


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One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

Buzzeo, T., & Small, D. (ill.) (2012). One cool friend. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780803734135

Annotation: Elliot is a proper young man, who discovers the perfect pet on a trip to the aquarium.

Reaction: This book is so adorable and funny. I love seeing Elliot’s efforts to take care of his new pet, and I love the little surprise Buzzeo and Small give readers at the end.

As always, David Small’s artwork is fantastic, with just the perfect amount of whimsy and his facial expressions are completely delightful. The palette is primarily black and white, but the small splashes of color he adds keeps it feeling fresh and vibrant.

I think is a little long to use during a storytime, but it would work for kids in smaller groups, and my husband thought it was HILARIOUS.

2013 Caldecott Honor Book
2013 Notable Children’s Book

Media Used: Pen and ink, ink wash, watercolor and colored pencil

Author’s Website (she’s a librarian!!)

Illustrator’s Website