Tag Archives: national geographic kids

Review! Our Country’s Presidents by Ann Bausam

28 Feb

presidentOur Country’s Presidents: A Complete Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency
By Ann Bausam
224 pages – ages 9+
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on January 10, 2017

Synopsis From the Publisher- National Geographic presents the 43 individuals who have led the U.S., plus America’s newest commander-in-chief, in this up-to-date, authoritative, and lavishly illustrated family, school, and library reference. It features comprehensive profiles of the 43 former presidents along with timelines and descriptions of crucial events during their terms. Information about the 2016 president-elect is also included.

Thematic spreads cover a variety of topics from the history of voting rights to writing a presidential letter. Full-page portraits, famous quotes, and fascinating facts help kids get to know each leader. This new volume is a fascinating read and excellent reference for students and kids of all ages.

What I Thought- This is a fabulous resource of most of what we know about the presidents of the United States. Granted, the book is not a full analysis, but a general outline of their highs, lows and accomplishments as president. Kids will be introduced to the presidents, along with information involved with the presidency; polling, the electoral college, and what first ladies do, among those mentioned. The information is presented in a clear, easy-to-understand and relatively unbiased way for the young readers. I really enjoy the layout of nonfiction books from National Geographic, with bold spreads, vivid pictures text as well as fact boxes. This book follows that format.

pres2

The publisher lists it as a middle grade book, but it could be read by a younger reader, or a teacher could read to a class/parent to a younger child as well. An up-to-date read -Bausam included some information on the background of President Trump, but seeing as the book was published when he was still President-Elect, it couldn’t have included information on what he has done as president. All in all, this book is a great resource to start kids on learning about the presidents.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Reviews! Famous Fails! and Martin McMillan and the Sacred Stones

22 Dec

fails1Famous Fails!
By Crispin Boyer
128 pages – ages 7+
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on October 25, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher- This fun book of quirky failures and famous flops will keep kids laughing while they learn the importance of messing up in order to get it right. Science, architecture, technology, entertainment — there are epic fails and hilarious goof-ups from every important field. Silly side features help to analyze the failures: “Lesson Learned,” “It Could be Worse!,” “Losing Combinations,” and a “Fail Scale” help readers navigate the different kinds and scopes of the mistakes made. Read to learn what went wrong, what went right, and what kids can learn from each failed attempt.

What I Thought- This is a really neat nonfiction book. It talks about famous ways that people have failed, and it talks about what you can learn from it. There are fun pictures in it that kids will like looking at. The book includes advice on carrying on after failing and how to avoid failing. The way the book is written, it points out that the people made a mistake, and how it happened, but in a nice way, instead looking at why they failed. There is a fun combination of text-boxes and real-life photos on each page, and kids will enjoy looking at the pages. The book is split into sections, with the last section full of advice to help with failure. This is another great book from National Geographic Kids!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

martinMartin McMillan and the Sacred Stones
Written by Elaine Russell
Illustrated by Patricia Andrews
228 pages – ages 8+
Published by Createspace on January 31, 2016

Synopsis from Publisher- This is the third installment of the Martin McMillan mystery/adventures for middle grade readers (ages 9-13). A vacation to Scotland finds thirteen-year-old skateboarders Martin McMillan and his friend Isabel drawn into another exciting mystery. Gaelic verses, recently found in the lining of an old trunk, hold the key to Druid secrets on the windswept Isle of Lewis. Clues lead to the ancient Calanais Standing Stones, which rival the wonder of Stonehenge. Martin and Isabel are determined to uncover the truth before other, less scrupulous parties can beat them to it. But dark forces go to great lengths to keep the island’s secrets from the outside world.

What I Thought- This is a cool book. There is a nice level of facts and fiction mixed into the story to get readers interested. The characters are realistic, behaving and sounding like normal kids. I especially like that in the beginning, Isabel isn’t fond of her stepmother…but as the story is from Martin’s point-of-view, he reflects that she seems like a decent person. I like that because that is a completely normal reaction – you may not understand why someone doesn’t like another person, and find the other person okay. As this book is the third book in the series, it is nice that this book explains the previous stories without going into too much detail. There is a good level of action in the story, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. The setting is neat (I’ve always liked Scotland) and it is a neat touch that the reader learns about it as the story goes on.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

It’s National Parks Week! Celebrate with National Geographic Kids!

19 Apr

natlparkNational Parks Guide U.S.A.
Written by Sarah Wassner Flynn and Julie Beer
Photos by Various Photographers
176 pages – ages 7+
Published by National Geographic on February 9, 2016

Synopsis from Amazon-Happy 100th Birthday, National Parks! Join the centennial celebration by reading all about these greatest of American treasures — from Acadia to Zion — in preparation for a parks visit sometime soon. Filled with color photos, information on animals, fascinating lists, fun facts, maps, cool things to do, conservation tips, and much more — think of this book as your trusted guide to these most majestic of places.

What I Thought- This is a good nonfiction book about the national parks of the United States of America. It goes through every single park and monument, and anything in between that is covered by the National Parks Service. It’s a good guide, with facts about what you can do in the parks, places nearby, and some of the flora and fauna. There are stunning photographs throughout the entire guide. I like that it includes a little history of the park or monument. It’s a fun guide. I think that families will like having this book while they are traveling.

I give this book five out of five bookworms. fivebooks

junior

Junior Ranger Activity Book
Written by National Geographic Kids
Illustrations and Photography by Various Artists
159 pages – ages 5+
Published by National Geographic Kids on February 9, 2016

Synopsis from Amazon-Calling all explorers and nature-lovers! From Acadia to Zion, discover all 59 of the United States’ amazing National Parks in this jam-packed book of games, trivia, jokes, fun facts, and so much more, all inspired by the National Parks outdoor-based Junior Ranger Program. Great for generating pre-trip excitement, long car rides, poking around historical sites, or general learning, these fun and sometimes silly activities will entertain while they draw kids into the majestic and historic importance of America’s national parks. Check out the most amazing park habitats, plus awesome sights and animals you might see, from birds to bears. Fun facts are jam-packed onto every page, so kids learn something amazing about each cool park.

What I Thought- This was a decent activity book – it teaches the kids about the parks, wildlife, and other things while they are doing the activities. I like activity books like that. It includes trivia quizzes about the parks, or other related topics. It is a rather well organized book, and I enjoyed going through the activities and reading the fact boxes. I have been to national parks and became a junior ranger, and the book touches on what it is like to be a junior ranger, serving the parks. All in all, a rather nice book.

I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

 

If you are not familiar with the junior ranger program you should be!

Here is a description from the National Parks website –

“The NPS Junior Ranger program is an activity based program conducted in almost all parks, and some Junior Ranger programs are national. Many national parks offer young visitors the opportunity to join the National Park Service “family” as Junior Rangers. Interested youth complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate. Junior Rangers are typically between the ages of 5 to 13, although people of all ages can participate.”

To find out more – visit the National Parks website!

Check out this cool video about the national parks!

National Geographic is hosting a Sweepstakes!
“This fabulous 8-day family adventure from National Geographic Expeditions is a dream trip come true. Discover the incredible geological treasures of the American Southwest and marvel at the rainbow colors  of the high desert; explore the Grand Canyon’s North Rim on foot or mule; hike amid Zion’s wonderland of slot canyons, hanging gardens, and waterfalls, and splash through the Narrows of the Virgin River; wind  through Bryce Canyon’s whimsical maze of red rock spires, and go on a scavenger hunt. Stay in historic park lodges with Old West atmosphere, and take part in activities and excursions geared for explorers of  all ages.  The National Geographic National Parks Sweepstakes runs from April 1-August 31, 2016. To enter or obtain full Official Rules go to: NationalParksSweeps.com.”

Review! Rascally Rabbits! by Aline Alexander Newman

22 Mar

rabitsNational Geographic Kids Chapters: Rascally Rabbits!: And More True Stories of Animals Behaving Badly

Written by Aline Alexander Newman

112 pages – ages 7+

Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on February 9, 2016

Synopsis- Bunnies are cute right? But what if all they do is get in trouble? Dogs are fun friends – until they eat  everything in sight! When going camping, it’s always nice to have a nice, secure, bear-tested food can. But what if the bears can open the “bear-proof” can? Read about four animals that get into trouble in this book!

What I Thought- This was a collection of short, funny, and true stories. I like that the book is written for younger readers branching out – with hard-to-pronounce words having a quick guide in parentheses (sounds like Puh-REN-thuh-SEAS). There are some “Did You Know?” boxes scattered throughout the stories, and some more in-depth fact boxes as well. Ms. Newman includes pictures of the animals she wrote about. Young kids will like these stories, and the fact that they are organized into chapters. The National Geographic Kids series are colorful, organized in an interesting way and written to engage kids. They are a great way to get kids interested in non-fiction.

I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

Review! National Geographic Kids: George Washington Carver by Kitson Jazynka

17 Mar

carverNational Geographic Kids: George Washington Carver

By Kitson Jazynka

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on January 12, 2016

Synopsis- George Washington Carver is a very important person in the world of agriculture. He helped farmers grow crops that would replenish their unhealthy soil. He was determined to help people in need. Including quotes and pictures, this is a biography about the man who changed agriculture.

What I Thought- This was a nice beginner-level biography about the work of George Washington Carver and how he contributed to society. It explains that he was born a slave, and eventually was the first black student at Iowa State University. This gives testimony to his strong willpower and motivation. It explained how he helped farmers grow better crops. I like how the author made a point of how Mr. Carver helped people for the good of all, and included pictures and quotes from him. This was a really well-organized biography for younger children. The format and colorful presentation made it even more enjoyable. I would like to see more from this biography series!

I give this five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

Review! Brain Games by Jennifer Swanson

10 Nov

braingamesBrain Games: The Mind-Blowing Science of Your Amazing Brain

Written by Jennifer Swanson

Forward by Hank Green

112 pages – ages 8+

Published by National Geographic Kids on September 8th 2015

Synopsis- Have you ever wondered what your brain can do – exactly? Why we feel what we feel? What makes us ‘go’? Get ready to take a trip through your brain with this National Geographic Kids book!

What I Thought- This is a really fascinating book! I enjoyed reading it. It presents the information in a fun way and makes you want to keep reading. There are new topics on each page, usually under the topic listed at the beginning of the section. (ex: Emotions). There are good activities throughout the book to tickle your brain and are just plain fun to do. The book has pictures through-out it that make the book reminiscent of a scrapbook-type collage. I sincerely recommend this book to everyone interested in the operations of the brain.

I give this book five out of five bookworms.fivebooks

National Geographic Nonfiction Review! Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey

31 Aug

janegoodUntamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Written by Anita Silvey

Foreword by Jane Goodall

96 pages (hardcover) – ages 8+

Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on June 9, 2015

Synopsis- Jane Goodall always loved animals, ever since her childhood. When given an opportunity to visit Africa, Jane pounces on the idea – imagine the wildlife there! When in Africa, she realized she needs a job. That leads her to animal and historical enthusiast, Louis Leakey. Working as his secretary Jane soon steps up to a job that Louis has been looking for a person to do. That job? Visit the nearby, unmapped Gombe forest and study the chimpanzees living there. It was something no trained field expert had ever done, and Jane had no field experience. Was this the opportunity of a life time or huge mistake?

What I Thought- This is a wonderful resource about the life of Jane Goodall. It starts from her young childhood and goes to current-day. The book even includes a foreword by Ms. Goodall. I like how, while the book is meant for kids, it puts the parts of the book in a cool, easy-to-read, but was also informational and succinct. I actually prefer these to what NatGeo puts out for adults (but maybe that is because I am a  kid 😉 ). This has fun facts, easy-to-read pages, and much more! Besides learning about Ms. Goodall’s work with chimpanzees, did you know that Ms. Goodall was a great waitress, and could carry around 12 plates without a tray? I learned a lot, and the book really brought Ms. Goodall to life for me. The real life photographs added so much to the story. All I have to say is WOW! I enjoyed every bit of this. I highly recommend the book!

I give this five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

BONUS REVIEW!

 

My sister Josie  just read a National Geographic Kids book she was very excited about. She wanted to review it also.

dirtDirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth: All About Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, & Even Dirt!

by Steve Tomecek

Illustrated by Fred Harper

128 pages – ages 8+
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on June 9, 2015

Summary – (from the publisher) – Come and explore the world under your feet with the Dirtmeister and friends! Part graphic novel, part fun guidebook, this very cool, rocky journey introduces both eager and reluctant readers to the basic geologic processes that shape our Earth. Clear and concise explanations of the various geologic processes reveal the comprehensive science behind each fascinating topic. Fun facts and simple DIY experiments reinforce the concepts while short biographies of important scientists inspire future geo-scientists.

What Josie thought – This was one of the coolest books I ever read. I collect rocks and love to play in the dirt and dig in the dirt. This book was awesome. It told me about rocks and how they form and different types. It told me about earthquakes and the Earth and volcanoes too. It was interesting to read how mountains are made. I like all the pictures in the book. Some were real pictures and some were cartoons. I liked that the words are spread all over (not like in a story). I think all kids will like this book!

I will give this book eighteen bookworms out of five ha ha ha Erik won’t let me do that so I give it five bookworms fivebooks

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