Sisters & Brothers: Nonfiction Book Review


Jenkins, Steve and Robin Page. Sisters & Brothers:sibling relationships in the animal world. Houghton Mifflin Company: New York, NY. 2008. ISBN: 9780618375967.

Plot Summary:

This is a delightful and informative book that goes into detail on siblings in the animal world. How are brother elephants or sister hyenas different than brother and sister humans? What is their relationship to their siblings and their parents? Are they really that different from us? Filled with detail, but easy to read, this book is good for any animal lover!

Critical Analysis:

Nonfiction for children require a couple very important things.

The first is pictures. Pictures are essential for kids to have in informative books. It helps them realize that these are indeed real things, if they can see them. It also helps them visualize and it helps them stay interested in the book. This book has a picture on every page that demonstrates what is discussed in the text. The pictures are colorful, but muted. It’s a nice mix that gives the kids the visual stimulant they need, but it’s not distracting. The illustrations were very well done.

The next is text. In informative books for children, text should be short and to the point and should be in small blocks on the page. If a child opens up a book and all they see is words, it intimidates them. This book demonstrates beautifully how a children’s nonfiction book layout should look. The text is in small blocks and on different parts of the page. For example, one page has the text in the upper left corner, and almost centered. On the next page, the text is in the right bottom corner and looks to be right justified. This gives variety to the page with enough white space for the child to not feel overwhelmed.

Content is the most important part of the book. For children, it needs to be informative, but short and entertaining. This book hits all those marks. This is a book that a 2nd grader could pick up and just sit down and read without much trouble and stay entertained.

This book is the full package. It is informative, correct, attractive, colorful, inviting, clear, and interesting. It is everything you want in a child’s book.

Excerpt Review:

From School Library Journal: “Enough data is afforded to satisfy many children, and adults are offered some further readings to suggest to the insatiably curious. Eye-catching, and with an interesting approach to the animal world, this book should appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests.”—Patricia Manning

From Booklist: “Most talk about animal families focuses on the parent-child relationship, but this riveting picture book, illustrated in Jenkins’ signature style, is packed with amazing facts about how young animals nurture one other or compete for survival and leave home.”

From Horn Book: “… fascinating animal facts…the new focus allows deeper explorations of the growth and development stages.”


Other books by Steve Jenkins:

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins ISBN:0547512910
What Do You Do With a Tail Like This by Steve Jenkins ISBN:061899713X
What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You by Steve Jenkins ISBN:0618152431

Other Animal Nonfiction books:

Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George ISBN:9780060287931
I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are by Bridget Heos ISBN: 9780805094695
One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies ISBN:0763623113


Published by

Adrinna Davis

Hello there! Not much to me, I'm just your average author and librarian who is obsessed with Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, Divergent, ect... who is married with two kids. :) And now blogger. I love children's lit and want to share with you all the amazing books I find!

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