Monday, January 19, 2009

Nonfiction Monday - Living Large

I love books that look at size and try to make the numbers concrete and understandable for kids (and adults). Here are three of my favorites for looking at how large (or small) something really is.

Actual Size, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins - Do you want to go face-to-face (literally) with a Siberian tiger? How about an anteater's tongue? Would seeing a spider the size of a dinner plate frighten you? In this volume, Steve Jenkins turns his skills with paper toward illustrating entire animals or large features of others. Readers can not only place their hands against a gorilla's palm to see how it fits, but also compare themselves to a variety of other animals. The illustrated back matter depicts each animal (in full) and is accompanied by a description of the creature.

How Big Is It?: A BIG Book All About BIGness, written by Ben Hillman - How big is a polar bear? You can read all about how heavy and how big the world's largest carnivore is, but until you see it standing on its hind legs towering over an NBA regulation basket, it's hard to really understand. The beauty of this book is that in answering the question "How big is it?", Hillman shows readers by juxtaposing the thing under consideration with an object more familiar. Comparisons include the Quetzalcoatlus (extinct flying reptile) with an F-18 Hornet fighter jet, the Arecibo Radio Telescope with the Eiffel Tower stretched across its diameter, California redwoods against the Brooklyn skyline, and more. (You can view some excerpts at Hillman's web site.)

Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?, written and illustrated by Robert Wells - If you thought a blue whale was big, think again. Just the flukes of this creature are bigger than most other creatures on Earth. But how does the blue whale compare to other "big" things." How does it compare to Mount Everest? How does Mount Everest compare to the Earth? How does the Earth compare to the sun? Wells' illustrations show readers just how big some things in are universe really are.

This post was written for Nonfiction Monday. This week our host is Shirley at SimplyScience Blog. Do stop by and see what others are sharing in the world of nonfiction.


  1. ooo...these sound SO cool!!! I want all of them...especially the whale book. NEATO!

  2. Always been a fan of these books, thanks!

  3. All these book sound interesting. I hope I can find and read them!