Walking across the school playground today, I heard a four-year-old girl announce confidently to her friends: “I will win the next time because I am the most strongest and the most fastest.” Well that settles that. I didn’t actually stay around for whatever race was being run, but hearing her assertion made me laugh, both at her creative use of language and the continuing fascination kids have with superlatives. I remember my own obsession with the Guiness Book of World Records, and that was before the book had color pictures! I read the small print version and still couldn’t get enough. Now there are so many books about superlatives that a fact enthusiast will never exhaust the possibilities.
The most beautiful books of this genre are by Steve Jenkins – he is the most creative, the most inventive and any other positive superlative you want to throw in. Jenkins uses colorful paper collages to create his illustrations, and his books are perfect for both browsing and collecting interesting facts. Here are three of my favorite Jenkins books:
Hottest, Coldest, Highest Deepest
Biggest, Strongest, Fastest
Steve’s website (www.stevejenkinsbooks.com) has a cool feature that shows his process; click on “making books.”