Actual Size
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Actual Size

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  1,065 ratings  ·  185 reviews
How big is a crocodile? What about a tiger, or the world’s largest spider? Can you imagine a tongue that is two feet long or an eye that’s bigger than your head? Sometimes facts and figures don’t tell the whole story. Sometimes you need to see things for yourself—at their actual size.
Hardcover, 34 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2004)
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Lisa Vegan
Oct 09, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids fascinated by nature & animals & size differences
This is yet another picture book about nature from Jenkins, and another winner.

I’ll try to remember this book next time I say I have a large spider in my apartment. I never knew there were spiders so large, and I’m glad I’ve never seen one off the pages of a book.

This is a rather large picture book and a couple of times pages fold out so there is more space to see the actual size of an animal or part of an animal. Biggest, heaviest, occasionally smallest animals of their type are the most featur...more
Dec 15, 2010 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Lisa and Chandra--Thanks!
What fun! A book about animals that presents them "actual size" Well, not that the book is big enough to fit a gorilla or a giant squid, but you can see the actual size of the giant squid's eye (about the size of a basketball!) and put up your hand to see how BIG the gorilla's hand is by comparison. There are some really cute little animals that are shown in their entirety, like the teensy pygmy lemur. And if you're into creepy-crawlies, there's the full-size giant Gippsland earthworm, all 36 in...more
My class loved when we read this book together. This picture book is good for students in Kindergarten and up. The book presents many animals or parts of animals with a short text and a picture that is the size of that animal or animal part. For example, the eye of the giant squid takes up an entire page. The information is presented with a bit of humor and end notes that give more facts about each animal. The pictures are bright and stand out on the white background. It would be fun to have stu...more
 (NS) Amie
Named one of the Orbis Pictus honor books for 2005, Actual Size by Steve Jenkins is made up of torn and cut paper collages of life-size animals or animal parts. School Library Journal calls the book “an enticing way to introduce children to diversity in the natural world.” Not only is it enticing to its audience – preschool through grade five – but this book is amazing for anyone, regardless of age, who picks it up. The book’s cover immediately grabs you by comparing a gorilla’s hand to the size...more
Casey Strauss
In the picture book, Actual Size by Steve Jenkins, images of all the animals shown are at actual size, both large and small. Page by page the author shows a number of animals, displayed in their actual size, with their dimensions included beneath the image. For the larger images it’s almost startling to see just how grand the actual size is in proportion to the page of the book. For example, one turns the page to see it is entirely filled with the eyeball of the giant squid, measuring in at twel...more
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins is an incredibly creative informational book. Jenkins purpose is to provide readers with facts about different animals and visuals of the actual size. For example, a giant anteater's tongue is two feet long, so Jenkins provides a visual of this animals head with a tongue the actual size of two feet. The visual is accompanied with additional facts like the length of the body and tail as well as the weight. In addition to the two page spread of these animals, in the ba...more
Mar 27, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We read Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins last summer and we really liked it. Recently I posted my review for another of his books, Dogs and Cats, here on Goodreads, and I saw that he also wrote this book, so I immediately put it on hold at our local library.

This is a fascinating book featuring very large and small animals, showing them (or at least parts of them) in actual size. The narrative is very simple, and the illustrations are marvelous. And I loved that each animal was shown in...more
Jenkins presents various animals and insects, or parts of them in actual size using cut and torn paper collages. Some of the authentically colored collages represent the entire animal at actual size. Others show a specific body part at actual size according to what fits on a page or on a two page spread. The actual physical dimensions and some interesting facts (what is eaten) are presented for the illustrations. Two fold-outs present a Goliath frog and the teeth/mouth of a saltwater crocodile....more
Actual Size, by Steve Jenkins, is an original and visually captivating book that shows the actual scale or size of various animals and insects. From a dwarf goby (the smallest fish of all) to an African Elephant, Jenkins gives the reader an excellent visual perspective which shows the creature's actual size. The artwork is beautiful and will be sure to grab the interest of any young reader. At the end of the story the author gives additional facts and pertinent information about the animals feat...more
Oscar Pagoada
Actual Size is a non-fiction book that deals with animals and the differing sizes they are. The information provided is given with a simple life size illustration of the animal species that the author is showing. The book is fairly simple to read with no more than one sentence er illustration. The repetitive nature of the book would make you think that it is fun the way the comparisons are made. A pygmy mouse lemur and a gorillas hands juxtaposed is quite funny when you see that about three of t...more
I enjoyed this book a lot. The basic premise of the book is it shows life size images of different parts of animals while relating interesting facts about that animal. For me the two-page spread of a giant squid's eye was the most satisfying.

I like that this exists. Often it's easy to forget the scale of things we see pictures of or see on tv. A book like this makes the animal kingdom more real by - for instance - letting children compare the size of their hand to that of a gorilla.

I love the i...more
Kathryn Eder
Love this informational book about animals. It is very realistic especially when they show how long a crocodiles mouth is and they show it with a fold out page that illustrate just how long it really is compared to us. Even a brown bears head is amazing to compare to your own head. It is a great book to have in a classroom for students to learn facts about animals.
Tricia Douglas
I love all of Steve Jenkins' books. This one shows the extra size of parts of animals through pictures, ie. the hand of a gorilla and the nose of a bear. Even I was intriqued! At the back of the book is additional information about the animals discussed in the book.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Kids love to put their hands up alongside that of the gorilla. It still amazes me that all his illustrations are done with cut and torn paper. Such talent!
Sally Deem
This book shows you the actual size of different animal's body parts and gives great facts about what the animals do with these body parts. The author includes other facts about the body parts, such as how big they are in height, weight or length. The illustrations are amazing and many of the facts are astonishing or gruesome. The author also includes a few pages that fold out to show actual size. This is another great book by Steve Jenkins and one I will include in my first grade library to use...more
Jul 26, 2014 Stacy added it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Concept and Informational

Students can research an animal, different from the ones in the book, then create a collage of the animal or a part of the animal at actual size. Write a fact on the main part of the collage. Have students guess the animal from the part of the animal, then share the name and the fact.

Extend the concepts of measurement and comparison by reading other books, including Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni, How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller, and My Place in Space by Robin and Sally Hi...more
Lisa the Librarian
I am fascinated by the illustrations in this book.

Animals shown in their actual size, the giant squid for example is shown only by one eye that takes up most of the full two page spread. The giant alligator's jaws and teeth are shown on a fold out page, that is wonderful but makes the book slightly less appropriate for library use because there is an easier chance of the page getting torn or bent etc.

The other thing I love about these illustrations is the fairly unique technique used of layere...more
This is a book that explores the idea of size by giving readers illustrations of the different sizes of body parts of different animals. To accomplish this, the body parts on animals are illustrated as life-size. Following the illustrations are a comment about the animals’ length, width, and/or height measurements. For example, one of the pages lets readers compare their hand size to one of a gorilla. At the end of the book there are short summaries about each animal illustrated throughout the b...more
1. Informational
2. This shows the actual size of whole animals (ex. pygmy mouse lemur) to parts of animals (ex. a gorilla’s hand).
3. A. Illustrations/ Content
B. Steve Jenkins uses collages of cut and torn paper to illustrate this informational book. The use of/ lack of white space alongside the composition of illustrations allow the reader to focus on the animal(s) being featured.
With every illustration is text that gives facts about the animal.
C. In the first spread, the reader’s eyes are draw...more
Veronica Diaz
Main Characters: Animals
Setting: N/A
POV: Narrator
Grade Level: K-2
Reading Level: Fountas-Pinnell - L
Genre: Information

Steve Jenkins is an amazing author of children’s books that present facts to the student while keeping things very interesting. This book falls in line with the other Jenkins books. On the pages of this book, you get to see the actual size of many different things in the animal kingdom. For example, they have an eye for an octopus that actually takes up two pages that you have to...more
Citation: Actual Size, Steve Jenkins, Houghton Mifflin, 2004, 32p, Picture-Junior book/Informational.

Genre: Informational

Summary: This a book of authentic life sizes, packed with information concerning the measurements of its subjects and more.

Critique: a. The illustrations in this book give a real live meaning to the facts and figures in this book.
b. The strength of the book comes from the ability of the reader to become one with the information presented through nontraditional measurement.
c. T...more
Kathleen Dixon
I wasn't sure how Zenobia would like this book, but it has a title that begins with "A" (for her current Challenge, and yes she's only 4 years old but it's never too young to start). With 3 "A" titles already used up in her and James' challenges, I wasn't left with many choices from my Home Library, but it doesn't make sense to borrow library books for them until we've read and reviewed all the books I actually own.

I guess the reason I wasn't sure about it is because I myself am ambivalent it. I...more
Karen Peters
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins is a non-fiction picture book for the Nursery(N) and Early Primary(P) reading group. A 2005 Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book.

A book of 18 different animals pictured in actual size/parts of their bodies in actual size. Realistic images allow children to imagine a two foot tongue, an eyeball bigger than a human head, an so on. Interesting facts are presented with each animal. My favorite page is the hand of a gorilla in actual size! Children will love comparing their hand...more
Mary Hohman
Actual Size is a picture book and a nonfiction book written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins. This book won multiple awards Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book, Orbis Pictus Honor Book, International Reading Association “Childrens Choices 2005” non-fiction, and CHILD Magazine Best book of the Year. The intended age group for this book is nursery – primary age’s birth – eight years old. This book displays actual sizes of animals so the reader can compare their sizes. Jenkins thought of making this b...more
Stacy Chrzastowski
Grade Level/Interest Level: K-3rd
Reading Level: Level 2.5, 2nd Grade
Main Characters: N/A
POV: Narrator

Actual size is about talking to students about size. Tis book puts several animals’ sizes into perspective for students. The book does not stray away from extremely large animals; it talks about some of the world largest animals including an elephant and crocodile. The pictures of the specific parts of the animals are the actual size, and then there is a brief description of the animal...more
My children loved reading and looking at the book Actual Size by Steve Jenkins. This book shows the actual size of either animals or parts of animals by using collages of cut and torn paper. Being able to look a tiger in the eyes is rather scary, but this book makes it fun because you see what it would really look like, but not have to worry about being eaten. Besides the artwork, each page also gives a small amount of information about that particular animal and also information about it's size...more
Apr 21, 2008 Barbara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ages 4-8
CIP: In this visually stunning book, seeing is believing as Steve Jenkins illustrates animals both large and small at ACTUAL SIZE.

REVIEW: Jenkin's amazing cut paper art paired with the concept of showing actual sizes of animals no matter how much of them fits on the page is a hit! This over-sized book is great for storytimes and read alouds, as children will ooh and aah over the one foot eye of a squid vs. a 1 foot tarantula. The paired pages show a great eye for choosing contrasting animal size...more
Wendy Daniel
Young children have very little experience with wild animals beyond what they read in books or see on TV. Actual Size is an amazing book that shows pieces and parts of animals in their actual size that are proportional to other things. Without leaving your couch, you can get a sense for how incredibly large and extremely tiny some of these animals are. This is a great book fro building print awareness and vocabulary skills for kids 6 months to 5 years old.
Alyssa Edgley
Awesome book that shows actual size of animals that children can relate to.

size means the dimensions of an item.

large means the size of an item, such as clothing, that falls between medium and extra-large.

small means of limited size; of comparatively restricted dimensions; not big; little

We could use this to explain size to children so they can understand the concept of things around them tall, wide, big, small, as well as animals. This is a great book to introduce measurements and new vocabula...more
Baylee Washburn
The illustrations in this picture book are created by cut and torn paper that has been arranged into collages. The use of this artistic media gives the illustrations an appearance that is much different from those done by painting or drawing. Rather than looking like the illustration is flat and smooth on the page, the collage technique gives the pictures a three-dimensional feeling. The illustrations appear to have texture and depth. They seem to leap off the page and encourage the reader to to...more
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