Monday, February 14, 2011

Point of Reference: The National Geographic Almanac 2011

With over 500 amazing photos and more than 5000 fascinating facts right at their fingertips, National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011 is one handy reference book that kids won't have to be urged to use.

There are plenty of catchy questions to stump their friends: for example, what is the world's tallest building and where is it? (Burj Khalifa in Dubai), and solid chapters which provide basic information on subject such as American Wars, Mythology (Percy Jackson fans love this one), Presidents, Countries of the World, First Ladies, the 50 States, Disasters, History Happenings, Oceanography, Dinosaurs--all the usual topics kids enjoy, written in easy-to-read prose.

In addition to its subject-oriented chapters, there are over 50 puzzles, projects, experiments, and just plain cool things to think about doing (underwater pumpkin carving?) as well as fifteen homework helper sections, including devising a project to help the family go green.

Many design features make this book especially appealing to upper elementary students--each page layout has text broken up by fact boxes, small and large photos, and Zipper the Dog, the "virtual pet," who alerts kids to "Cool Clicks," web links which enable kids to read more about subjects such as King Tut, Otzi the Iceman, the hybrid "liger," or the almanac's "5 Cool Dudes"--explorers Marco Polo, Ponce de Leon, David Livingstone, Robert Peary, and Ferdinand Magellan.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011 is itself just a link to all the information about all the amazing things out there for kids to explore, an inexpensive and handy way to begin to become a "cool dude" themselves.

Other kid-friendly reference books include Weird But True: 300 Outrageous Facts (National Geographic Kids) and Time For Kids Almanac 2011.



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