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National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books) Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Each animal has a section about 2-4 pages long. These pages have very short and simple facts, and big, colorful images. It's short and sweet, but still captivating. There are also plenty of images of cute baby animals, which are always fun to look at!
Another great thing about this book is that it actually has a Parent Tips section with small activities to do with kids based on the animals in the book, and each one works with a different skill. They're all very simple to do, and some are more fun than educational, but fun and education should go hand in hand with kids to keep them interested. There is also a map with names of the animals labelled in each country.
Overall, this is an excellent beginner's book. It's not super detailed, but there are enough facts in there for a young child to retain, and with over 100 pages, that's a relief for parents who end up reading the whole thing to their kids in one sitting like I just did.
For each animal, it lists the kind of animal (mammal, amphibian, etc.), what continent it lives on, the size of the animal, what the animal eats, what sounds they make, and how many babies the animal has at a time. Most animals have 3-4 pages dedicated to information about them. I've been teaching my daughter about animal habitats (grassland, ocean, tundra, etc.) and I was thrilled that this book is actually divided into habitats and the animals that live in them. Some of the animals featured are cheetah, giraffe, sea otter, sea turtle, meerkat, camel, red eyed tree frog, black handed spider monkey, raccoon, tiger, beaver, harp seal, snowy owl, penguins, and octopus. I like that it included a variety of familiar animals we've seen at the zoo with some lesser known animals like the desert jerboa and blue striped grunt.
As a former teacher, this book would be a great way to introduce students to the features of a nonfiction encyclopedia such as a table of contents, title page, captions, index, and glossary, all of which are featured in this book. Another feature I liked was the two pages of parent tips that give you ideas for enrichment activities to do with your child, such as measuring their height, blowing underwater bubbles, creating a diorama, clue games, and rhyming words. The book also has a world map that shows the continents and lists the animals in the book next to the continent they live on. There are so many educational aspects to this book and I can't believe it was only $9! It's such a high quality book and definitely one that we read a lot.
Like the other books in this series, they are hard cover books containing over 100 pages. (This one is 128 pages) Although it looks like a preschooler book, it is written in a very professional way (similar topics are organized in 8 different chapters and it has a detailed introduction with information on how to use as well as an index at the end.) It rather looks like first big textbook of bugs. However, being organized in a scientific way does not make it complicated for kids since every information is given with either a photo or a schematic diagram to make it easier to understand. Each bug is allocated a few pages and on every page the ratio of pictures to text is 1:1 or greater. The interesting facts (sizes, number of eggs, behaviour etc.) about that particular bug is given on the first page with an informative picture that is accompanying. Then some more information follows with more pictures which could get the kid into the world of that bug.
At the end of each chapter there is a game which is like matching the picture of larvae and the adult forms etc. What I like most about these books is that there is no minumum or maximum age for them. My 2 years old likes looking at the pictures and my 4 years old is kind of pictures plus games with a sip of information about the bugs, and I at 31 years old can find many things to learn about the bugs we see arround all the time.
The only complaint is the binding quality which does not match the excellence of the paper and image quality. Other books had pages that got loose a few days after purchasing and this shows the signs of the same weakness already.
For those who have not owned any books from this series, I can say this is a good book to start with since it is about the organisms we see in our daily life and younger kids would find it more interesting compared to the book about the space or other abstract things.