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*National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010* by National Geographic writers and photographers- young readers book review
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010
by National Geographic writers and photographers
Ages 8-13 352 pages National Geographic Children's Books May 2009 Paperback    

The National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010 contains 337 pages of general interest information for children ages 8-13. Divided into color-coded sections for easy reference, it includes interesting facts and recent research in nine different categories. Included in the pages of this fun reference book are over 500 pages of color photographs, links to websites, and sections titled Homework Help.

National Geographic Kids knows what appeals to children. Chapter headings such as “Awesome Adventure,” “Your World 2010” and “Super Science” segue into short features like “Robot Spy,” “Dare to Explore” and “Will my Toy Car Survive a Croc Attack?” A true story about a bug-eater shows a man with bugs on his fork and sliding out of his mouth; a feature on brown bears shows a close-up of a salmon leaping through the air and straight into a bear’s mouth. The variety of ways in which information is presented keeps readers interested. Maps show where bears live, where crystals and gems are mined, and where the world’s oceans are located. Lists such as “6 Ways You Affect Earth,” “7 Cool Things about Antarctica,” and “9 Cool Things in Your Future” break bigger topics down into sections children can understand and, sometimes, implement.

Segments entitled “Bet You Didn’t Know,” “Tip”, and “Did You Know?” contain the more surprising discoveries about the topics. On the “Bugs, Bugs, and More Bugs” page, one of the “Bet You Didn’t Know” statements says “Ladybugs squirt smelly liquid from their knees when they get scared.” Activities such as puzzles, word searches, and trivia questions are inserted in every chapter, as are two pages of homework help. “The History Happens” chapter has homework help on writing biographies, and the “Wonders of Nature” chapter has homework help on public speaking.

This book is easy to search and inspires children to learn. An index in the back and a table of contents in the front make it searchable, and the reminders and useful information the contributors provide on such topics as volunteering, trying new foods, meeting new people, avoiding plagiarism, and ideas on how to be eco-friendly encourage children to explore and expand their world. By providing web addresses to internet sites, and profiling some different explorers and scientists in this book, the almanac encourages children to think about their future and learn more about the topics that interest them.

A few times throughout there is more focus on the United States than Canada (i.e., in the chapter “History Happens” showing all the presidents of the US but none of the prime ministers of Canada, and in the holiday section listing Independence Day but not Canada Day, or Canada’s Thanksgiving date), but overall, all the countries from around the world are included here. National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010 is a very visual and lively book. Children will have fun exploring their world with it - their world of the past, their present world, and their future world.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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