Egg: Nature's Perfect Package

JENKINS, Steve & . illus. by Steve Jenkins. 32p. diag. further reading. Houghton Harcourt. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780547959092.
Gr 2–4—Jenkins and Page present a collection of facts about animals and their eggs. The layout is divided into spreads that present a different topic ("Where should I lay my eggs?" "Egg Packaging") in an introductory paragraph. That's followed by several examples ("Incubation" describes the male emperor penguin, which keeps eggs warm in a brood pouch), accompanied by beautiful illustrations rendered in Jenkins's trademark cut-and-torn paper collages, scattered across the page, leaving the copious amount of white space characteristic of this team's style. Some cases tend toward the grotesque (readers learn that the spider wasp stings a spider, lays her eggs on its body, and leaves it as food for her hatchlings), but all are presented in a purely scientific, factual tone. A diagram at the beginning of the book gives readers a look at the actual sizes of different eggs (a tarantula's, a leopard frog's, a scorpion fish's). The work concludes with cross-sectional diagrams of chicken and alligator eggs, showing the interior at different stages of development. There's also a list of very brief facts about each of the animals pictured.
VERDICT Like Jenkins and Page's other works, this delightful purchase combines big, bold illustrations with intriguing science. A solid addition to the 590s.

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