Lola Schaefer; Illustrated by Geoff Waring
I love that this book stands out right off the bat, due to the extreme size. I know we have some large books, but this one seems enormous at 12" x 12" - larger than any other children's books currently on our bookshelves. For some reason, it's just plain fun to read a really large book.
And just why is this book so large? It has to be big to cover the life size bites of eleven animals! It isn't just small animals that put in an appearance - the big guys like the Komodo dragon and black bear show up and really take over the pages. Before we get to them, we start off tiny, with how much dirt a worm can eat with just one scoop. It builds up from there, to how much nectar one butterfly can sip, to how many beetles a frog can flick. We work our way through medium and large animals, all the way to the sperm whale. And that life size bite is so large that the page has to open up to accommodate the giant meal.
I have always loved oversized books, just for the pure novelty. This one is especially enjoyable because all that page room is put to good use demonstrating the actual size of foodstuff in nature. I think sometimes it is hard for kids (and adults alike) to imagine the size of things they read about. This book is wonderful, as they can hold up their own hands for comparison to really get a handle on the sizes. The giraffe's head only partially fit on the page, but we were able to compare his big eye to ours. The elephant's lunch was about the size of a child's whole head! This book gives a great perspective into the lives of eleven amazing animals!
Review copy provided by Chronicle Books.