Debbie Glade has looked at 5 different National Geographic books and reviews them all here today.
Everyone adores National Geographic, including me! So I was thrilled to dive right into a stack of National Geographic Kids books. We’ll start with the two short, paperback, Easy-to-Read books for Curious Kids. Trucks! (Level 1 reader, $3.99) by Wil Mara will satisfy the interests of the child(ren) you know who can’t stop playing with and talking about trucks. Slick, the truck driver, teaches kids about all kinds of different trucks, from cement trucks to mixers and from haulers to big rigs. The book has large photographs rather than illustrations and adds simple copy ideal for the early reader.
Mummies (Level 2 reader, $3.99) by Elizabeth Carney is a little bit creepy in all the right ways. There are both photographs and illustrations of mummies, plus basic information that a young reader wants to know. (The book is not for the faint of heart because it mentions bodies decaying, removing organs for mummification and other gory, but fascinating facts.) I like that this book introduces kids to ancient Egypt and the origin of mummification. At the back of the book is a simple fill in the blank page so readers can use the science words they learned.
Now on to the two paperback Picture the Seasons books by Jill Esbaum. Being an avid gardener myself, I treasure books like these that teach young readers a bit about what it takes to grow food. Seed Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie ($5.95, ages 4-8) is a simple book all about pumpkins and squash. From planting, flowering and growing to how the vegetables are used in our food (and as jack-o-lanterns), Pumpkin Pie will introduce early readers to the world of pumpkins. Apples for Everyone will take the reader on a journey from planting to harvesting and from bobbing to eating apples. I learned what I had already suspected; apples are eaten in America more than any other fruit. I eat at least one a day and so should you! The photographs are wonderful in both of these straightforward books.
Being an author myself, who wrote a book about bugs, I am fascinated with Science Fair Winners: Bug Science ($12.95, ages 11-14) by Karen Romano Young. This book is for middle readers who need ideas for their science fair projects. The book has cute illustrations by David Goldin and contains 20 different workshops for getting acquainted with bugs and using what you learned for a science fair project. I was instantly attracted to Workshop #4 “Honey Help Me with this Hay Fever,” because I have lessened my own allergy symptoms by eating a lot of local honey. Honey contains pollen, and eating local pollen is said to be similar to getting allergy shots. Among the many other great lessons in Bug Science are: trying to make an ant get lost, learning what color a butterfly likes best, composting with worms, studying spider phobias and many others. At the end of the book is a short chapter about presenting your findings. I love Science Fair Winners: Bug Science. It’s fun and educational, and it gets kids thinking creatively when it comes time to do their rite-of-passage science fair projects. I wish we had this book when my daughter was doing her science fair project years ago trying to prove that mint repels ants. (And it does!)
Debbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.