FICTION

How to Swallow a Pig: Step-by-Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom

JENKINS, Steve & . illus. by Steve Jenkins. 32p. bibliog. HMH. Sept. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544313651.
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RedReviewStarGr 2–5—Jenkins and Page team up once again for a glimpse into the animal kingdom. The authors outline 18 behaviors step by step, addressing readers directly as they explain how whales fish, wasps build nests, and grebes dance. Though the text is quite witty ("If you are a guy, start things off by offering a female grebe a gift of water plants"), some adults might wish for precautionary notes for the literal-minded, who might attempt to reenact instructions such as "Pop the millipede in your mouth." Impressive torn-and-cut paper collage artwork on white backgrounds work well with the conversational writing style. Students will be enthralled by the descriptions of an octopus disguising itself, a crocodile hunting for a meal, and a python swallowing a pig. The book includes single-page treatments and spreads of each behavior, with numbered directions laid out clockwise. Back matter provides additional information about the animals, such as their sizes and native environments.
VERDICT Jenkins and Page present another fascinating, fun, and attractive look at the natural world.

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