Picture Book Review: 'Animals Upside Down' by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Aug 13, 2013

Animals Upside Down

by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2013 

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page find another clever way to introduce young children to fun books about nature in Animals Upside Down

Described as "a pull, pop, lift & learn book" the format takes the pop-up book one step further with tabs that fold over to reveal a change in a frog's color, multi-paneled windows that slide out to convey an insect (or a child's) movement, and wheels that spin to show how a duck dives into the water to find food. 

Who knew that so many creatures flip, hang, sleep, or crawl upside-down, either to disguise or protect themselves or to find or catch prey?!

Like Jenkins and Page's other books, just a simple fact about each animal is presented, with words curving around images and running down the sides of pages to emphasize the crisp, textured illustrations. The only flaw in the book is that the text that runs vertically down the side of some pages requires tilting the book upwards to the right (which causes the now-horizontal text to be at the bottom of the page) whereas reversing the text direction would have made for a more comfortable left-upwards page-flip with the preferable result of the words at the top of the page. 

Aside from this one minor detail, Animals Upside Down (which includes the names of each creature with additional information about them on the end-pages) will have kids turning cartwheels of their own. 


Steve Jenkins and Robin Page have written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including My First Day: What Animals Do on Day One (which was also reviewed on The Write Question blog). They live in Boulder Colorado with their children. 


Renée Vaillancourt McGrath has worked at Montana Public Radio as a program host since 2002. Her background is in librarianship and she currently works as a freelance editor, blogger, and website developer. Check out more of her book reviews at