2018 Winner: Middle  Grades Science Book

Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics, by Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.


Animals by the Numbers is packed full of interesting facts and figures. What proportion of each 24-hour day do different animals sleep? Which can jump farthest in relation to their body size? Which are most dangerous to humans and why? Which can live at the highest elevations, deepest depths, and most extreme temperatures? Author and illustrator Jenkins’ captivating cut-paper illustrations perfectly recreate the featured creatures and are complemented by text that is both exciting, original, and captivating, while remaining accurate and comprehensible. What sets this book apart from most are its clever and informative infographics, including bar charts, pie charts, information webs, decision trees, maps, and myriad other graphical representations. To convey the different sizes of organisms, their silhouettes are drawn at actual size or in proportion to one another. Circles of varying sizes are used to show the relative toxicity of different venoms and poisons. In cases where numerical values are provided, English units are primary with metric units shown in parentheses. This book does a magnificent job representing data graphically, demonstrating the power of pictures — and creativity — in telling a compelling story.

About the Author

Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated thirty picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor-winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious and informative. He lives in Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children. Steve and Robin have been nominated many times both together and individually. This is Steve’s first individual win. Together their book Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World won the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize in 2009.