Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World

by Steve Jenkins (Author) Steve Jenkins (Illustrator)

Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

From Caldecott Honor-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins comes a series of animals with unusual eyes in this eye-catching picture book!

In his eye-popping work of picture book nonfiction, Jenkins explains how for most animals, eyes are the most important source of information about the world in a biological sense.

The simplest eyes--clusters of light-sensitive cells--appeared more than one billion years ago, and provided a big survival advantage to the first creatures that had them. Since then, animals have evolved an amazing variety of eyes, along with often surprising ways to use them.

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The evolution of the eye and the surprising ways animals see the world are displayed in a thoughtfully designed and engagingly illustrated album.

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6-The ability to perceive light and dark first developed in simple animals approximately 600 million years ago. Since that time, multiple variations of eyes have evolved from four main types: eyespot, pinhole, compound, and camera. Toward the end of the book, Jenkins devotes a page to describing the "evolution of the eye," enabling readers to easily follow the changes. Jenkins's outstanding torn- and cut-paper illustrations offer a fascinating look at these important organs, which range in size from the tiniest holes (starfish) to basketballs (colossal squid). Eyes not only allow animals to find food and avoid predators but can also assist in swallowing food and aid in attracting a mate. Large, colorful pictures of more than 20 animal eyes are accompanied by a small illustration of the entire creature and a brief paragraph of intriguing information (for example, as a halibut ages, one eye moves until both end up on the same side of its head, the panther chameleon can operate both eyes separately, and the hippopotamus has a clear membrane that enables it to see while underwater). Animal facts, a bibliography, and a glossary round out this slim volume that will captivate readers of all ages.

Copyright 2024 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission. 


This attractive, large-format volume introduces eyes in the animal kingdom...Browsers will enjoy the illustrations, while teachers might find this a useful visual resource.


The eyes themselves [are] prominently featured in well-designed layouts that serve both as study guide and display for the beautifully rendered and reproduced cut-paper artwork.

Publisher's Weekly

Jenkins zeroes in on animal eyes in his latest merging of science and artistry. Subjects include the colossal squid (each of its eyes are "the size of a basketball-the largest of any animal"), the panther chameleon ("it can look in two directions at once"), and the tarsier, which has eyeballs larger than its brain. As usual, Jenkins carefully crafts his animals from torn and cut paper, creating an array of textures and a striking sense of detail, whether an animal is furry, feathery, or scaly. The eye, with its intricate structure and symbolic resonance, is an ideal focus for Jenkins's inquisitive, informative narrative and multidimensional art.

Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission. 

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Clarion Books
Publication date
June 18, 2024
BISAC categories
JNF051150 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Zoology
JNF003000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | General
JNF051050 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Biology
Library of Congress categories

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