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National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why (National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books) Hardcover – May 10, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 602 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Highly photographic and playful, this big book is an adventure in exploration and will make long car rides seem like a quick trip around the corner!” –Woman of Many Roles blog

About the Author

Amy Shields is an editor, author, and advocate of children books in every size, shape, color, genre, and age. . As an author Amy loves writing informational books for kids. She has written craft books, beginning readers, and question-and-answer books, and is working on a nonfiction graphic book for little kids. Amy lives in upstate New York, and is a member of the New York Library Association.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: NC630L (What's this?)
  • Series: National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books; National Geographic Little Kid edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426307934
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426307935
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (602 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why may be intended for preschool (precocious little ones, certainly), but I would say that it's not at all too simple for ages 6-10. In fact, it will pique curiosity and engage 1st - 3rd graders until they are ready for the almanac put out by National Geographic Kids. I love the format, the very questions your curious child asks and the clear, enthusiastic explanations. In no time you will have a little professor on your hands amazing you with his/her new expertise. - Biblio Reads Children's Book Review
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's not perfect but has tons of content. One of the reviews said it has misinformation because it classifies humans as "carnivores", but some recent studie shave classified humans as such "based on the percentage of meat in the typical human diet". See: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/04/20/150817741/for-most-of-human-history-being-an-omnivore-was-no-dilemma

Another negative review said the information is shallow and gave this example: "Some question do not even have answers like this one, 'why some animals are big and some are smalls?' the answer 'life happens everywhere it can on this amazing planet. life comes in every size, shape and color' ? what kind of answer is that?" Well, I think is a very good answer for the audience the book is intended for. Why are some animals big and others small? Because there are all kinds of animals in the world, some big and some small. I think it's a perfectly valid answer. If your kid needs more information you can teach him about evolution for an hour if you want. You have to understand the purpose of this book is having a lot of questions and a lot of content. If they start going deeper into answers then that means less content. I rather have more questions with simple answers than a few questions with 3 pages of an answer.

Finally, another reviewer seems to be confusing this book for something else and tries to show the "inaccuracies" but only comes off as a trying to display his knowledge of things. We get it, you know how to use wikipedia, guess what? This is a book for "KIDS", if you want to show off how much you know why don't you review a PHD book on physics?

This is a great book with tons of content and my kid loves it. It's not perfect, but that's why you're there as a parent.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is so fun, so fresh, so colorful, and so jam-packed with helpful information. I find that this group of National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books (Animals, Why, and Dinos) does "reference" for preschoolers in a way that really respects their need for information, while still keeping the books lively and on level. We love them all, and my kids could pore over this book for hours, especially the funny Why Not pages, where they can identify what's wrong with the picture. I learned a lot too. Now I know why skin wrinkles in the tub!
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Format: Hardcover
I got the book from the library to decide whether or not get it for my 3,and 6 years boys. On the first look, I was really delighted by the fonts, pictures and the whole layout of the book, but when I started reading it I was really disappointed. The information is very shallow, could have gone much deeper. Some questions don't even have answers like this one, " why some animals are big and some are small?" the answer " life happens everywhere it can on this amazing planet. life comes in every size, shape and color" ???!! what kind of answer is that? nothing about life cycle, food chain, adaptation?!

Another issue I have with this book is that in many pages the text would be expressed by a better pictures than the ones placed. For example, " why do we have belly button?" I felt that page should have a photo of a baby in a uterus with umbilical cord coming out of his tummy, would have explained the text in a better way.

The book has some nice things though. I liked how in every section there is some sort of an activity or an experiment for the little ones to try out " funnel phones, bubble making, floating test".
Also after each section, there is a page of " Why not" of things that CAN'T be like this, which my boys really liked.

Overall, the books fails its educational purpose for me, but still nice entertainment from a scientific scope.
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Format: Hardcover
My kids' grandparents gave them this book. One of the first sections we read what "what's special about me?" In listing information about humans, such as type of animal (mammal), species (Homo sapien), it then says "Food - Carnivore". No, humans are omnivores. That may be a minor distinction to you, but it was a sign to me that the book is sloppily edited.

I haven't read much of the rest, as I'm wary of more incorrect information in a book that is supposed to help me teach my kids about the world.

I guess just read it with your kids if you want to be sure they are getting correct information!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is attractive and engaging. However, in some places, it is sloppy, and in others just plain incorrect:

1) Skin does not wrinkle due to water seeping into skin: it's actually a nervous system response (people with reattached digits do not have wrinkly skin). This is a fairly recent, cool discovery, so I'll give them a pass on getting this wrong.

2) "Why do I have dreams and nightmares?": the answer given is that your brain is still active and makes movies of a jumble of experiences. The brain is active all night, but dreams only part of the night. There are various hypotheses for the reasons dreaming happens (i.e., to help organize thoughts), but as far as I know there is no consensus on the answer yet. It IS clear, however, that it's not a simple consequence of the brain being active.

3) There's a diagram accompanying a discussion of how toilets work (explanation given is gravity moving waste out of the home). There's a cross section of a house with pipes, and a red arrow shown going down from the level of the toilet out. However, the only pipes shown are inflow pipes (water leading to a hose, faucets, shower, etc): the outflow pipes (drains, bottom of toilet, etc.) aren't shown. The diagram implies that water flushed out a toilet ends up in your garden hose.

4) "Some dinosaurs could fly and some could swim": Pterosaurs could fly, mosasaurs and plesiosaurs could swim, but these weren't dinosaurs (but it's a common mistake, one worth being careful not to perpetuate). Birds are a kind of dinosaur, and some of them can obviously fly and swim, but readers aren't going to think of birds, they're going to think of pterosaurs.
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