Actual Size written and illustrated by Steven Jenkins brings readers face to face with the actual size of an animal’s physical trait. Some featured animals and their traits in this book are a bear’s head, a dwarf goby fish, an anteater’s tongue, and a crocodile’s snout.
Readers can visually compare themselves to the animal by placing their hand against the page to compare and contrast similarities and differences.
Each page informs about the animal’s length, height and/or weight. Back matter includes facts about each animal.
This book promotes creative non-fiction, imagination, and discovery.
TITLE: Actual Size
AUTHOR: Steve Jenkins
ILLUSTRATOR: Steve Jenkins
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004
AGE GROUP: 4-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative nonfiction, imagination, discovery
1) Pick an animal and one of its body parts that you can compare and contrast. Draw that part to its actual size. This activity could also be made into a classroom book.
2) How could you creatively present information about your favorite animal? With a group of friends pick different animals to research. Then write a play or song using the facts you learned. Present your play.
To learn more about author/illustrator Steve Jenkins, visit:
“The Most Magnificent Thing”
One day a girl has a wonderful idea to make the most magnificent thing. She knows how it will look and how it will work. After she makes it, it doesn’t look or work how she imagined.
She tries again and again but it still won’t work. It isn’t magnificent.
Frustrated and angry, she quits. Her trusty helper tells her to go for a walk.
When they return, she sees all the things she created. Each one better than before. That gives her an idea…
This book promotes discovery, the creative process, and risk-taking.
TITLE: The Most Magnificent Thing
AUTHOR: Ashley Spires
ILLUSTRATOR: Ashley Spires
PUBLISHER: Kids Can Press, 2014
AGE GROUP: 6-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, the creative process, risk-taking
1) Pick an invention that interests you. What might you change to make it better? What might you add or subtract from it? Can you substitute a different part? What else can the invention be used for?
2) What do you do when you are frustrated? Do you quit, give up? Do you push forward and try again? Do you try a new approach? Tell about a time that you wanted to quit but you didn’t.
To learn more about author/illustrator Ashley Spires, visit:
A creative non-fiction book, I’m Trying To Love Spiders, combines facts about spiders and author Bethany Barton’s journey of overcoming her fear of spiders.
In regards to her perspective on spiders, Bethany Barton stated, “I want to think of them as bug ninjas.” She believes that she shouldn’t be afraid of them since spiders do good things for the world. Did you know that a single spider can eat over 75 pounds of bugs in a year?
Humorous illustrations accompany spider facts.
This story promotes humor, combination – facts with imagination, and a different perspective.
TITLE: I’m Trying To Love Spiders
AUTHOR: Bethany Barton
ILLUSTRATOR: Bethany Barton
PUBLISHER: Viking, 2015
AGE GROUP: 4-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: humor, combination – facts with imagination, and different perspective
1) Pick an animal that you don’t like. Research that animal. Discover at least five facts that you find good (positive) about it. Having learned these new facts, how does it change your perception about the animal? Remember even if you still don’t like the animal, you can appreciate and respect it.
2) Make a variety of homemade spiders.
Egg carton with pipe cleaner spider.
Doughnut and pretzel spider. To easily make these, visit: http://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/2014/09/24/easy-mini-donut-spiders-easy-halloween-treat-kids-can-make.html#_a5y_p=2500159
To learn more about author/illustrator Bethany Barton, visit:
Ever wonder how a python can swallow a pig or how a grebe can dance? Learn how in How To Swallow A Pig.
Told from the perspective of various animals, How To Swallow A Pig informs readers how these animals survive, using their problem solving skills.
Cut and torn paper collage beautifully illustrates this humorous yet informative step-by-step how to guide. More fun facts about the animals are presented in the back of book. This book promotes creativity, imagination, nature, and humor.
TITLE: How To Swallow A Pig
AUTHORS: Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
ILLUSTRATOR: Steve Jenkins
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
AGE GROUP: 5-9
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, imagination, humorous
1) Invent an animal from your imagination. What behavior does your animal exhibit in order to survive? Write a step-by-step guide showing how your animal problem solves.
2) Use collage to illustrate your invented animal and its habitat.
To learn more about Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, visit:
To learn more about making of this book, visit: