DO YOU KNOW? Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World by Pascale Hédelin AND Oceans and Marine Life by Stéphanie Babin, 96 pp, RL 3


DO YOU KNOW? Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World 
by Pascale Hédelin
illustrated by Didier Balicevic, Rbert Barborini, Benjamin Bécue & Sylvie Bessard 
DO YOU KNOW? Oceans and Marine Life 
by Stéphanie Babin
illustrated by Lucile Ahrweiller, Hélène Convert, Deborah Pinot and Emmanuel Ristord
Published by Twirl / Chronicle Books

There are plenty of new non-fiction books for young readers of all ages and abilities hitting the shelves every year. When I choose to review one, I look for a few different things: visual appeal, accessibility, and unique features. Originally published in France in 2013, these two entries in the DO YOU KNOW? series offer all these things and, with their crisp illustrations and clean white backgrounds, they are great for the littlest "readers" ready to pore over pages tucked between two sturdy covers.

Features of DO YOU KNOW? that make it a great series to grow with are the "How? What? Why? Which? Where?" panels on the recto of most two-page spreads, each of which includes an index at the bottom of the panel referring readers to things mentioned in the panel with page numbers and visual indicators. Divided into sections with a marvelously designed table of contents that uses pictures and page numbers to help direct readers, each section ends with a "Let's Review" spread that quizzes readers and each book ends with a "More to Know" section and an index. Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World kicks off with types of dinosaurs and wraps up with a "Life without Dinosaurs" section that gives readers an understanding of how dinosaurs became extinct and how we locate and research their remains today. The side panels answer questions like, "How scary were dinosaurs?" and "Why were dinosaur skulls so unusual?" as well as "Why are dinosaur names so complicated?" and "What if dinosaurs came back to life?" 

Oceans and Marine Life begins with a wide view of the Blue Planet then zooms in, focusing on action on and in the ocean, like water sports, lighthouses, ports, fish markets and aquaculture, followed by a day at the beach. A section on ocean vehicles will definitely delight with cool cutaways of an ocean liner and a submarine. A section on marine life is followed by the "More to Know" section that, along with a great map of the oceans, illustrated the water cycle and ocean food chains, wrapping up with important spread that show how humans are damaging the oceans and how we can preserve them.

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