Sunday, March 16, 2014

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields

Published in 2011 by National Geographic Children's Books
Nonfiction / Informational Text

Anyone who has young children or works with young children will often hear the following question almost to the point of exhaustion: "Why?" Amy Shields's book National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why is an excellent source that can provide age-appropriate answers to questions that parents often have a difficult time answering. The book is filled with more than 300 beautiful photos and images produced by Getty Images, a division of the National Geographic Society.

The book is divided into four sections: (1) Amazing Me, (2) How Things Work, (3) Animals All Around, and (4) Wonders of the World. In the first section, Shields provides answers to questions such as Why am I special? Why are people different colors? Why do some people have twins? and Why doesn't it hurt to get my hair cut? Shields answers these questions by providing facts along with text that is interesting and easy to read. She also includes "recipes" or "experiments" that children can conduct with their parents and/or teachers. For example, in the section "Amazing Me," Shields includes a "Recipe For A Family Experiment" in which children compare their own physical features with other members of their family. After examining their own physical features, children come to understand that although they share many similarities and differences with other family members, there is only ONE of them! The message is positive and uplifting.

The second section of the book is about "How Things Work." In this section, questions such as Why does water turn to ice? Why does popcorn pop? Why does an elevator go up and down? Why can I see myself in a mirror? and Why do planes fly and boats float? are answered. This section will definitely satisfy curious little minds. It also includes experiments such as the "Milk Magic Experiment" and the "Bubble-Icious Experiment." Some of the fondest memories I have playing with my own children when they were young involved playing with bubbles, but what happens to bubbles when they are placed in the freezer?

The third section, "Animals All Around," answers questions such as Why do dogs make good pets? Why do cats hunt and purr? Why do worms come out when it rains? Why don't spiders stick to their webs? Why do bees make honey? Why do some animals hang upside down? and Why do cows make milk? This section was my favorite, and will quickly become a favorite for anyone who loves and is curious about animals. This section also includes a "Who's Talking Experiment."

The final section of the book "Wonders of the World" answers questions such as Why do we see a rainbow? Why is snow white? Why is the sky blue? Why does the wind blow? and Why can't we touch the stars? Two experiments are included in this section: the Make-a-Rainbow Experiment and the Seed-to-Sprout Experiment.

Shields's book closes with a parent tips section, a glossary, and an additional resources section. On the Why Not? page children identify things that are wrong in the picture. In the parent tips section, parents are encouraged to discuss various topics with their children such as observation, math, measuring temperature, nutrition, communication, memory, and crafts, just to name a few. This book has something for everyone! I highly recommend it for young children. Very young children (ages 4-5) will enjoy the pictures as the book is being read to them, and older children can read the book to learn about the world around them. The National Geographic illustrations are absolutely beautiful. Other books in this series include the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space and the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs. Other topics are addressed as well; there is even one about robots. Check this one out!

National Geographic Kids
Other Amy Shields Books
Image Source
Find This Book At Your Local Library

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