The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids:
500 Wild Facts,
by Ginjer L. Clarke
Goodreads (other similar books by the same author. This one is not listed yet)
I tend to like more and more nonfiction books for kids. It’s a great way to learn through nice and smartly designed volumes. In other words, they are just as perfect for adults, not just for 9-12 year olds! The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts totally fits the description.
First, it is color coded, in a wide colored right edge of pages, and separations between pictures. There are six categories: Magnificent Mammals, Creepy Crawlies, Water World, Scaly Things, Amazing Amphibians, and Feathered Friends. I think though the two blue colors chosen for part 3 and 6 are too close. They could have chosen a much different color.
Then the pictures are really nice and big, with the data written in large characters, easy to read, with highlights in different colors. Though I think the book could have been even nicer with more color unity. Some pages have six or seven colors, and some do clash.
The facts presented are fascinating, related to the animals characteristics and even etymology. It’s also a good book to develop your animal related vocabulary. For instance, “Male elks make a grunting sound that ends in a high-pitched whistle. This is called bugling” (p.33).
I discovered lots of animals I didn’t know, like the sand cat for instance. Some data are funny, like the wombat being the only animal in the world making cube-shaped poop!!
I know only 3 kinds of squirrels, there are actually 200 types!
Did you know that 80% of all creatures on earth are insects? 2,000 species of these are considered edible for humans. I love walking sticks, but I had no idea they could grow to almost 2 feet long!
“Dentists in ancient Greece sometimes used stingray spine venom to numb patients mouths.” (p.115)
As I’m an avid birder, I was eager to see the last part. I had no idea that “an ostrich’s legs are so strong that a well-placed kick can kill a lion.” (p.174) I was amazed to discover than some cormorants and golden eagles are trained to bring their catch to their trainers. That’s convenient.
To make the book even better, I would have sorted the animals also by region, in each of the six categories. There is very little information on where to find which animal. I was curious about the Clark’s Nutcracker (featured on page 188) for its incredible skill at remembering where it hid seeds for the winter. This bird can be found mostly in the Western part of the US. And I had to go and listen to some recording of the kookaburra (mostly Eastern Australia), whose cackling call sounds “like it just heard the best joke ever.” (page 191)
VERDICT: Great book for kids and adults to learn animal facts. Could be even better with nicer design.
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Any other good book on birds for children?
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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received this book free of charge from the publisher through The Callisto Publisher’s Club. I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.