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National Geographic Encyclopedia of Animals Hardcover – October 10, 2006

39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up—This lavish, ambitious volume contains full-color illustrations of more than 1500 species. Each brief entry includes common and scientific names and mention of an interesting physical or behavioral trait. Range maps show where each animal is found, and conservation data notes which species are extinct, endangered, or vulnerable. In addition to the realistic drawings, there are dramatic photos of animals in their habitats, such as one of a distraught Arctic seal pup caught in a discarded fishing net as its mother looks on. Introductory pages discuss the animal kingdom and classification as well as behavior, senses, communication, habitats, and endangerment. Readers may be alarmed to learn that "Even the great mass extinction 65 million years ago…did not destroy as many species as are dying out now." Subsequent chapters are devoted to mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Chapters begin with discussions of commonalities and differences as well as the reproduction and behavior of each group. Boxed fast facts, diagrams, and visuals of life cycles offer additional information. The small print and the more challenging vocabulary make this update more suitable for older readers than the 2000 edition, which contained fewer species but offered more information about each one. While most species are listed by name in the index, popular creatures such as the lion, tiger, and cheetah appear under "cats" with no "see" references. Nonetheless, animal enthusiasts will go wild for this fascinating, colorful edition, most suitable for browsing.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist

With more than 1.5 million species, the animal kingdom is an endless source of fascination, and this beautifully detailed animal encyclopedia, though intended for ages eight and up, is sure to fascinate and enlighten readers of all ages. Color illustrations and photographs of more than 1,000 species dominate the pages. Providing authoritative, up-to-date information on everything from life cycle and survival strategies of major animal groups to fast facts on specific species, this reference also boasts distribution maps and conservation information for many animal groups.

Coverage begins with a concise introduction to the animal world, including information on classification, habitats, and a brief mention of conservation and the loss of species. The book then divides into six color-coded chapters, each comprising one of the major animal groups. The first five chapters are devoted to vertebrates and the last to invertebrates. Three to five color photographs adorn the double-page introduction to each chapter. Introductory text summarizes distinctive characteristics and behaviors unique to each group, including evolution, reproduction, differences between young and adult, and communication. Labeled diagrams provide information on particular aspects, such as different types of bird feathers.

After the introduction, each chapter is organized by main animal groups and, in some cases, subgroups. Classification data are provided as well as additional information on the physical characteristics, life cycle, and other features. The illustrations of species are labeled with common and scientific names, and many also include icons indicating conservation status.

Though not comprehensive, the glossary of almost 150 words is a nice feature. The nicely organized section on animal sizes lists each species shown in the book along with its largest normal size (length, height, width, or wingspan, depending on the animal group). The book concludes with an index of animals and general concepts.

This appealing and reasonably priced resource is recommended for school and public libraries. Heather Heyduk
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 079225936X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792259367
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By ltnbrn on December 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this with the idea of reading it with our daughter in the future. It has some good information in it, and of course some nice pictures. But I was hoping for more comprehensive info, like what a particular animal eats, where it sleeps, its behaviors, etc. But the book is limited by its size. It'd have to be much bigger to have all that data. It has brief explanations and descriptions. It is a good book to introduce many of the numerous animals.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By J. Hoffman on June 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this book is excellent content-wise. However, it has mostly drawings of animals, not actual photos. I was disappointed in this as the other reviews seemed to suggest it has lots and lots of pictures--these pictures are actually drawings (which are very well done) and they are indeed very plentiful, but I will be sending it back for a book with more actual photos of animals.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this encyclopedia for my 7 year-old daughter who is obsessed with the great cats. She was thrilled! We had borrowed the previous edition (with the tree frog on the front) from the library, so I already knew that she loved the book. But now, with the tiger on the front, it's one of her favorite possessions. We're a month past Christmas, and she is still consulting this book regularly, drawing pictures of the various animals shown in full-color, and learning so many facts that she's becoming a walking encyclopedia herself. The organization and layout is very user-friendly. This is not an alphabetized A-Z book of animals. The mammals, insects, birds, etc. are all groups according to categories of related creatures. This is a very helpful feature. We give the book two thumbs up!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ian on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Our elder son Ian recieved this from his grandmom for x'mas, and hasn't stopped researching it ever since. Its 'grown up' enough for it to be full of facts and very well detailed, yet colorful and exciting and fresh enough for children to easily relate to. Do get it if you have a child who's passionate about animals. For others, I would wait till they can read, perhaps after 6 yrs age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sonya Medema on June 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My four year old daughter and I adore this book and have for 2 years! There are beautiful illustrations (not photos) of a lot of animals. The only thing it lacks is information on all of the animals, but overall it is a gorgeous book that gets a lot of use in our house!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mandy Payne HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful full color photographs and well written information about animals. This is a must have book for any animal lover! It is written so that almost every age can read and enjoy it. This probably isn't the kind of book that a grad student might use for a research paper. However, we have had it for a while and I still feel like I learn something every time I open the book. My son thinks he is too cool for it. But I see him reading it once in a while when he thinks no one is looking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Art on July 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
About 3 months ago I bought my first copy and lent the book to a First Grade Class. The teacher told me a good number of the kids really liked the book and later on a lot of them thanked me for it. I bought a copy for them to keep in their class. Since them I have bought copies for my great-granddaughter and my granddaughter. Recently I lent it to a Fourth Grader that loved it and asked for it as her upcoming birthday present. Kids do love it (most of them anyway!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Scott on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you are going to get a gift of a book for a pre-teen, or even a 13-year-old boy, this is it. The illustrations are beautiful, illustrations, not photographs. They are simply laid-put, not overdone, so that the pages aren't too busy, but every page has from 10 to 18 illustrations, some pages have photographs of animals also.

I saw the book covering a 6th grade city classroom, with a few very troublesome students behavior-wise. I gave the book to one of the "troublemakers," tongue-in-cheek, difficult to keep together 12 year old. He sat for a half hour thumbing page by page through the book and wanted it again and again through the day, fought for the book (as it were).

There are good facts on every page, because it covers large sets of animals on each page, it is limited in the type of facts and depth it provides. For example, there is one page on big cats and two pages on small cats. Tigers is covered with one illustration, along with however many other big cats, 12 or 15 others. 19 species of small cats are covered. So you really don't get a feel for all of the different species of tigers.

On the otters and weasels pages, there are 18 species illustrated. Around Every two pages there is a conservation watch box, with good information on endangered species. It is just enough information in each caption for a pre-teen or young teen (probably young teen boy), to digest. Because there are so many illustrations, children will keep coming back for more, and read a little blurb or few on some pages they haven't already assimilated.

It's a great book to have in any grammar school classroom up to the 8th grade, from Kindergarten, in this case it was perfect for a sixth grade.
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