Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cool facts and interesting information - great National Geographic Kids books (ages 6 - 12)

Kids love looking through the National Geographic Kids Magazine. It's easy to browse through, full of interesting information to read, and packed with eye-catching photos. Two great choices for summer reading are Weird But True! and National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011. These are perfect for summer reading - you dip into them over and over again, finding all sorts of interesting information. Wierd But True is great for early elementary kids, and the almanac is perfect for kids who want to soak in more information.
Weird But True!
300 Outrageous Facts

DC: National Geographic Children's Books, 2010
ages 5 - 9
available on Amazon or your local book store
Based on the Weird But True page in the National Geographic Kids Magazine, this book has been a hit with my kids. They love browsing through it, finding all sorts of trivia and tidbits. It's a great book for breaking up those cries of "I'm sooooo bored!" Did you know:
- Some honeybees quack.
- The most overdue library book was 288 years late.
- A bat can eat 3,000 insects in one night.
- A woman hand-delivered a pizza from London, England to Melbourne, Australia - a distance of about 10,350 miles.
- There are about a billion bacteria in your mouth right now.
Kids like the bright layout of this book, and the quick and quirky facts. It's not a book that gives you any depth or information behind the facts. But it does stir curiosity and conversations.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011
DC: National Geographic Children's Books, 2010
ages 9 - 12
available on Amazon and your local book store
My kids and their friends have spent hours looking at this almanac. They each have their favorite sections, whether it's about animals, distant lands and cultures, outer space or inventions from the future. This almanac is packed full of information. The text is written at a 5th grade level, and so is a little dense for many kids who are drawn to it. But it's full of interesting information. For example, I learned:
- There are 37 species of wild cats, and scientists divide them into eight groups based on their DNA.
- Domestic cats are related to the Sand Cat, which lives in the dry deserts of northern Africa and the Middle East.
- Dogs and cats each have special abilities, and pet owners have trained them to do amazing things - including playing the piano, walking tightropes, and even perhaps predicting earthquakes.
- Prehistoric marine reptiles swam the seas millions of years before dinosaurs roamed the land.
- Scientists are studying the structure of leaves to see how rain and dirt roll off them, in hopes of being able to design buildings which repel dirt and water.
- The sun is a star that is about 4.6 billion years old, and about a million planet Earths could fit inside of it - it's diameter is 870,000 miles across.
Kids are drawn to this almanac, dipping and diving into the information. I like the fact that it's more substantive than a Ripley's Believe It or Not. This is a perfect book to bring along on a summer vacation - you can glance through it, or dig in deeper. Find out what your child is interested in and have a conversation as you go along. You might find yourself pulled into it as well!

Browse through them to see what they're like. You can either enlarge these, or click on the page turn to glance at them online:

The review copies were kindly sent by the publisher. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links here, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely loved these books, too, Mary Ann! I just love seeing my 4 year old pick them up and thumb through them!

    I'm continually amazed at the NG books!