Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Top of the World, by Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins writes and illustrates a book for children in The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest. The text includes a short history of climbing Everest, discusses the natural geography, and prepares the reader for theoretical trip up the Nepalese South Col route. The information is overall pretty good, with only a few minor problems. The history includes mentions of Mallory and Irvine, Tenzing and Hillary, and Reinhold Messner. He discusses the formation of the Himalaya, the weather and flora found at different elevations near the mountain, and how avalanches occur. His climb includes a rundown of specialized gear, events that take place (such as a puja), a description of locations on the mountain (like the South Col), and some other climbing information. The highlight of the book for me is Jenkins' cut paper collage illustrations, which have a surprising realism for the medium. They include beautiful mountainscapes, famous photos rendered in paper, native animals, and a number of other subjects, all done with an artistic range of textures and colors. A great book for kids!

This post is a revision and expansion of an earlier entry, found here.

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