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Sonderbooks Book Review of

Eye to Eye

How Animals See the World

by Steve Jenkins


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Eye to Eye

How Animals See the World

by Steve Jenkins
Review posted July 15, 2014.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2014. 36 pages.
Starred Review

Steve Jenkins does it again! He’s the one who can make incredibly detailed animal art using cut paper collage. His art looks like photographs and has amazing levels of detail. When coupled with fascinating facts about animals, his books are exceptional.

Eye to Eye looks at four kinds of animal eyes: eyespots, a simple cluster of light-sensitive cells; pinhole eyes, which can form dim but detailed images; compound eyes with hundreds or thousands of individual facets; and camera eyes, found in all birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, emplying a lens to focus light on the sensitive surface of a retina.

Then he’s got examples of the different types of eyes and all sorts of strange and unusual eyes. We’ve got the biggest eyes in the world (on a colossal squid), eyes bigger than the animal’s brain (on a tarsier), the most highly developed eyes (on a mantis shrimp), eyes that look in two directions (on the brownsnout spookfish), an animal with a third eye on the top of its head (the tuatara), and a creature with as many as 111 eyeballs (the Atlantic bay scallop), among others.

I found some of the creatures a bit disgusting, but I’m guessing that will make certain kids enjoy the book all the more. I learned a lot about eyes reading this book. Another treasure trove of information paired with mind-boggling artwork from Steve Jenkins.