Book Review: TIME TO EAT– written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Jenkins, Steve & Robin Page. 2011. TIME TO EAT. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN 978-0-547-25232-8


TIME TO EAT is an easy non-fiction concept book written for young children ages 4-8 years old.  Concept books are a well-liked and abundant form of factual literature that “distills to its most basic terms” information for very young readers (Vardell 2008, 239). Jenkins and Page will ignite children’s imagination and thirst for facts about the natural world in TIME TO EAT. This book provides children with lively pictorial illustrations of individual animals coupled with simple and succinct paragraphs outlining their dietary habits.

This fact filled book is well organized with animated illustrations paired with factual information. An appendix is included at the back of the book with illustrations and more in-depth biological facts about the showcased animals.  The illustrations of animals in the act of eating compliment the text and are “expertly colored, detailed, and expressive” (Rochman n.d.).


(This book-page picture is from the author’s website at

Steve Jenkins has written many critically acclaimed science books for young readers. According to the School Library Journal, the works of Steve Jenkins and  Robin Page “can be found in most classrooms and libraries” (Auerbach 2012).  For instance, the following titles (showcased on Jenkin’s website — are a few of the many informational books he has published:


The reader can only assume that Caldecott Honor winning authors presents accurate factual information in all their works. However, there are no notes, sources, or references listed in TIME TO EAT that would “reinforce our appreciation of the accuracy of the work” (Vardell 2008, 254).

Enrichment Activities:

In the last lines of this book, the authors ask the reader “What would you like for your next meal?”.  Parents could use this line as a jumping off point to explore why we eat the foods that we do.  This informational book could open a dialog between young children and caregivers about favorite foods, healthy food, “junk” food, and other social/cultural aspects of eating.


According to Steve Jenkins website ( TIME TO EAT has won the following awards:

  • The Eureka! Non-Fiction Children’s Book Award 2011
  • Chicago Public Library’s 2012 Best of the Best

What to Read Next:

Jenkins, Steve. 2001.WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN SOMETHING WANTS TO EAT YOU?. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN 978-0618152438

Jenkins, Steve & Robin Page. 2011. TIME TO SLEEP. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN 978-0547250403


Auerbach, Barbara. 2012. “The Wild World of Steve Jenkins: An Author Study.” School Library Journal. October 2. Accessed March 22, 2014.

Rochman, Hazel. n.d. “Editorial Review: Booklist.” Amazon. Accessed March 22, 2014.

Vardell, Sylvia M. 2008. Children’s Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

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