My older son, now eighteen, grew up with DK books and videos about everything from trees and volcanoes to planets, the human body and death. As a bookseller who got to see the whole range of encyclopedic books being published for kids, nothing every came close to the crisp visual style of DK and the engaging way text is presented on the page. The best part of DK books for children is that they are the perfect segue to the DK books for adults, which provide a more in depth examination of subjects. With this prejudice, it takes a lot for me to look at, let alone recommend, an encyclopedia by any other publisher. However, Animal Planet, in partnership with Time Inc. Books, has put together Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia, a visually attractive, fact filled book that is worth the price and sure to make kids smile - and read.
At 304 pages, Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia is packed with information on over 2,500 animals and over 1,000 color photographs. Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia is divided into eight chapters with detailed profiles of the seven animal classes, which are also color coded. One feature that I find especially interesting is the green "Surprisingly Human" content box that appears from time to time, sharing facts about animals that our species shares, like the fact that female vampire bats are nice to each other, sharing food with friends who did not feed sufficiently. Another feature, the R.O.A.R. (Reach Out And Act) box, highlights Animal Planet's partnerships with "leading animal and wildlife organizations to help make the world a better place for animals" and ways that people are helping animals in our communities and in the wild.
Great photos aside, there are definitely enough features in Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia to make it a worthwhile investment. And, as a parent, former bookseller and school librarian, I can tell you that almost all kids are happy to sit down with a book like this and pore over the pages.
Source: Review Copy