Bones by Steve Jenkins is a highly visual look at the human skeletal system, with clear text and outstanding paper collages. Jenkins compares various human skeletal segments to those of other animals (ie: a man's hand and a spider monkey's hand), powerfully illustrating the similarities and difference among skeletal structures of many living creatures.
Jenkins is one of
our favorite illustrators. He was called "one of the foremost
illuminators of the animal
kingdom" by Booklist. We honestly couldn't agree more. His books are MUST HAVES for kids of all ages.
In this title, the cut paper collage illustrations convey a wealth of information in and of themselves, and are well supplemented by clearly written explanations, facts, and even quite a bit of humor. Rather than providing a systematic look at the skeletal system, this title is more of a collection of fascinating facts and illuminating artwork.
Level: Grade 3-6
DRA Level: 40
Lexile Measure: 980L
Grade Level Equivalent: 3.8
Guided Reading Level: Q
Read-Aloud vs. Individual Reading:
If your intended audience for this book is third graders or younger, this book will most likely need to be a read-aloud rather than for individual reading, as children generally do not read on the reading level (difficulty level) of this book until the end of third grade. The majority of fourth graders should be able to read this book independently, as well as older kids.
Below are sample pages from inside Bones. It may be difficult to see in our small versions here, but the collages are brilliantly done---full of details but not too much for young minds to take in. The layered characteristic of collage art really enhances the learning, as the reader can clearly see the different bones and how they come together. Brilliant!
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