Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ask Me Everything: Facts, Lists, Records and Even More Facts (ages 9 - 12)

Don't you love browsing through a book, flipping the pages to see what catches your eye? We had the dictionaries out in library time today, and the kids loved flipping through the pages to find interesting tidbits of information.  A hit in our library this winter has been Ask Me Everything. It's a visual treat, filled with facts, statistics, lists, records and more.
Ask Me Everything
by DK Publishing
NY: DK, Inc., 2010
ages 9 - 14
available on Amazon and at your local library
Ask Me Everything is packed with information, all in great nuggets with lots of visuals. DK excels at producing visually stimulating books, and this provides a wide range of information. It covers topics ranging from planets and space to society and culture, dinosaurs and prehistoric animals to geography and history. Each two page spread is headed with a bold, eye-catching question like: "How deep is the Grand Canyon?" or "How many people live in Tokyo?" The topics range from technical scientific subjects, such as space telescopes (see the page sample below) to fun favorites like "Who decides what's fashion?"

click on this sample to enlarge

One student said, "This book is really interesting. Sometimes I act like I know everything." Another thought that one of the coolest pages was "What is the smallest country in the world?" (the Vatican City). This book is filled with Did You Know facts - did you know that the ATM in the Vatican City has instructions in Latin?! Did you know that the first stiletto heel was created in 1954? Did you know that the average human can recognize 10,000 different odors? Students also enjoyed sections with "how to" instructions - like how to do a Moon Walk dance, how to wear a kimono, and how to lift fingerprints.

While this book is meant more for browsing than research reports, it will stimulate a lot of questioning and exploring. The topics are organized clearly with a table of contents and easily referenced with an index. The reading level seems perfect for 4th through 6th graders, although many kids seem to look at the pictures more than dig into the text.

click on this sample to enlarge

Two blog reviews that I enjoyed are: Serendipitous Reading and Charlotte's Library. I especially love how Charlotte wrote:
"It's not so great to read aloud to two young boys--they will (in my experience) each try to pull the book of their (long-suffering) mother's lap so they can look more closely at the fascinating pictures....or, in trying to look more closely at the pictures (many of which are quite small) they will block their mother's view of the words. It's much more a book to leave lying around (we have mastered this technique in our house), luring them back to graze repeatedly."
Ripley's Special Edition 2011 (Ripley's Believe It Or Not Special Edition) Students who enjoy this will also love Ripley's Believe It or Not books (Ripley's Special Edition - 2011 is hugely popular in the library), and the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011. These are both great browsing nonfiction books with a lot of kid appeal.

The review copy was kindly sent by DK Publishers. Our students really appreciate the chance to review these books. In fact, our only criticism is that it is so popular that we're worried the binding is going to fall apart since it's a heavy, large book.

If you  make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support!

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.

1 comment:

  1. I love DK books. They are always so visually appealing. I am going to see if my library has this one. Thanks for the suggestion.