ritten by Steve Jenkins, Illustrated by Robin Page
Houghton Mifflin, 2015
So, you want to learn how to swallow a pig. You’ve come to the right place.
There are 18 lessons in this book, taken from the amazing world of animals. Each one tells you step by step how these different animals perform these unusual feats. In addition to the title lesson, you can learn how to trap fish like a humpback whale, build a dam like a beaver and warn of danger like a vervet monkey. Of course, you will probably find you can’t do all the steps necessary, such as unhinging your jaw to swallow that pig like a python. But it’s pretty interesting to read about it all the same.
Once again, the husband and wife team of Steve Jenkins and Robin Page bring us a lot of fascinating animal facts in a fun way that engages and entertains readers while it educates. Each of the lessons is told from the animal’s point of view, so it puts you in the animal’s position. For example, in the lesson on how to woo a ewe (like a mountain sheep), you are told to consider the other sheep as your rival and instructed on how to butt heads with them. It’s a comical approach to the subject that allows you to come away with a greater knowledge of the animal, including not only the how of the action, but the why as well. The illustrations are done in torn and cut paper collage and you can visit their website to learn more about the book’s creation. This one’s lots of fun.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that nature has a pretty cool way of giving each animal something that makes them unique and fascinating.