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Nonfiction Monday: My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

My First Day: What Animals Do on Day One
By Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Houghton Mifflin

ISBN: 9780547738512
Grades K-2
In Stores Jan 8, 2013

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

The capabilities of newborn animals are, for the most part, a mystery. While you can’t walk down the street without tripping over a stack of new baby animal books (slight exaggeration), very few that do what My First Day does – narrow the focus to the hours directly following birth. By getting specific, frequent collaborators Robin Page and Steve Jenkins deliver a nonfiction picture book that will surprise and inform.

What did you do on your first day – the day you were born?

The title here is fitting, as this is a book where animals tell the story. Twenty-two animals describe their first day in the first person. Up first is a kiwi:

On my first day, I spent hours kicking my way out of my egg.

As soon as I hatched, I was ready to take care of myself…

Some animals, like the Siberian tiger and polar bear, will be familiar, while others, like the tapir and megapode, will likely be brand new. They all take on a new life, however, when considering their first hours on earth. Page and Jenkins highlight some of the truly unusual, like the Darwin’s frog, who stays in its father’s mouth until the right time, and the wood duck that has to skydive out of its tree nest (sans parachute) to reach water. Mammals dominate but other species are also represented. Various birds, amphibians, and insects all make appearances. Back matter includes additional first day information for each animal featured.

Jenkins employs his signature torn and cut paper collage with eye-catching results. Bright earth tones, as well as a playful use of text give provide a sense of fun.

Aside from seeing baby animals in a new light, young fact finders can use My First Day to add an unexpected dimension to animal research. You likely don’t have  a book like this in your collection.

Review copy from the publisher.

Be sure to check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at Hope Is the Word.

Also reviewed by books4yourkids.com, The Write Question.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. This looks fabulous. We’re big Jenkins fans around here anyway, and this is an unusual topic for a picture book. Thanks so much for sharing this Nonfiction Monday!

  2. Thanks for highlighting this book! We’re huge Steve Jenkins fans and this is one we haven’t seen. I’ll definitely have to check it out.


  1. […] Travis at 100 Scope Notes shares My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, a book which provides a look at animals in their first hours of life.  We’re huge Steve Jenkins fans around here, so this looks like a must-read for us! […]