cover image The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest

The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest

Steve Jenkins, S. Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-94218-5

A compendium of historical info and practical tips, Jenkins's (Biggest, Strongest, Fastest) overview of the challenges of climbing Mount Everest works best as a showcase for his stunning cut-paper collage art. The artist's skillful juxtaposition of variously textured papers creates some remarkably convincing images of this snow- and ice-filled terrain, and his eye for detail comes through in depictions of climbers and their gear. Addressing readers as would-be Everest explorers, the author favors a second-person narrative: ""If you ever want to climb it, here are a few things to think about."" The text is a little disjointed: paragraphs describing ""your"" expedition are accompanied by sidebars and interrupted by spreads with related material (e.g., an illustrated list of necessary equipment). The book design sets off the illustrations beautifully, but sometimes discourages attention to the text. More than a few blocks of copy, dropped onto the textured art, are simply hard to read. Ages 6-10. (Apr.)