Bones: Skeletons

February 6, 2012

Skeletons. Cool, my sons would say. They have always been intrigued with the bony structures. Steve Jenkins had the curious young anatomist in mind when he wrote Bones: Skeletons and How They Work.

NY Scholastic Press, 2010

Bones are illustrated in their actual size. The pages contain a variety of large to small complete skeletons. Most skeletons are of animals or reptiles. Other pages show individual bones like a human finger bone. I find it unique he compares some sizes with a human. For example, arms and feet of a human are shown in scale to animals like a gray whale and fruit bat. Kids will be able to connect with this book and understand the shapes and sizes of creatures.

Steve Jenkins has three fold-out sections. One python skeleton winds around showing its many pairs of ribs. Another compares a human skull to several animals like a Mouse Lemur. The third fold out shows the 206 human bones individually, laid next to each other in rows. Then, open the next pages and the bones have been assembled to create the human skeleton.

Kathryn Bohnhoff and Emily Poe created an author study video. Although slightly lengthy (9 min.), the video introduces the author’s biography and several of his books. They also show thumbnail sketches for his books found on Steve’s website. I think your kids will enjoy it. I learned a lot.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Bones: Skeletons and How They Work:

  • Compare/ contrast – types of bones, sizes
  • Question/Answer structure
  • informational – for each section
  • Subtitles – eye-catching “Got Your Back”, “The Long and Short of It“,
  • Back – additional facts

PES new book


Steve Jenkins

August 24, 2009

Steve Jenkins brings nonfiction concepts to life.  He often uses cut-paper collages to create his illustrations.  His author/illustrator’s fingerprint is the life-size pictures.  Steve often focuses in on some particular feature that captures a child’s curiosity.  I’m curious. Looking Down

I just found the book  Looking Down(1995).  It is a wordless book that space and map skills.  I love the way he zooms in starting from outer space.  The reader begins on an asteroid or rock looking at the moon and earth – both small in back ground.  The next page, the reader is on the moon, looking at the earth.  As you continue to turn each page, the focus zooms in on a smaller section of the page before.  On the back of the book, Steve states that the map is not of a real town but resembles one that would be on the East Coast between Maryland and South Carolina. 

I think this book would be a good background book for any age, high school included, when studying geography.  As a teacher, this books brings an airplane experience to life.  The book ends with a child looking through a magnifying glass at a ladybug.  It brings new meaning to observation of our world.

(PES Library)