From School Library Journal
Gr 2-6–This refreshingly upbeat collection of random facts about Earth's creatures and natural wonders is accompanied by startlingly beautiful photographs. Each spread asks a question, such as, “What is the most dangerous animal?” or “What is the biggest cavern?” The answer (printed upside down beneath the question) is then followed by a short explanation or description of an unusual aspect of the animal or phenomenon. Some of the answers are simple enough to verge on misleading–not all aurora borealis are green and the African cape porcupine can not have a bear as a predator. However, the interest in the beauty and mystery of natural wonders, as well as the introduction to children of unusual facts and concepts that this work encourages, compensates for some editorial impreciseness. This is strictly a book for browsing. There is no access to specific topics; there is no index, and the contents page lists only the questions.–Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From the biggest heart in a land mammal (the giraffe) to the deadliest animal in the world (the mosquito) to the earth’s coldest recorded temperature (-128.6 F at the South Pole) to the biggest cavern in the world (Mammoth Cave, in Kentucky), this attractive book presents 88 of the most amazing phenomena on the planet. Double-page spreads feature an opening question (“What animal can endure the most extreme conditions?”), a brief yet engaging explanation, and a full-page photograph that pops with color. Whether a microscopic look at a snail’s tongue, an up-close scene of an armadillo nursing her identical quadruplets, an aerial shot of the Sahara Desert, or a satellite view of Volcano Island, in the Philippines, each photograph reveals an eye-catching marvel. Although its content is not arranged in any particular order (the animal that swims the fastest transitions to the biggest meteorite, for example), this ultimate browsing book will appeal to young Guinness World Records fans. Grades 3-6. --Angela Leeper