Review Blog

Sep 05 2017

My encyclopedia of very important animals

cover image

Dorling Kindersley, 2017. ISBN 9780241276358
Anyone who has spent time with little people, particularly boys, will know that they often gravitate to the non fiction collections of the school library where they can get a THICK book (very important) and then pore over the pictures for hours at a time. If the pictures and diagrams are of high quality then they can absorb a lot of information from them even if they can't manage the text yet.
In this new publication from non fiction experts DK the editors have mastered combining stunning illustrations with just the right amount of text to support the beginning reader, often only one sentence and using vocabulary that is appropriate to the age group whilst not 'talking down.' Divided into four sections - All About Animals; Amazing Animals; Animal Antics and More Very Important Animals - it begins with a clear explanation of what animals are, differentiating them from plants, and then moves on to those of land, sea and air.
Using lots of colour, a clear, clean font of a good size, labels, speech bubbles and other literary devices, the young reader is taken on a journey through the animal kingdom that they will return to again and again, all the while honing their reading skills as they want to know more than just the pictures can tell them. At the back they are introduced to the concept of a glossary which explains the meaning of some of the more unusual words they might encounter like amphibian and exoskeleton, as well as an index that will help them find just what they are looking for.
With more and more research emerging about the need for children to develop basic literacy skills using print if they are to use and interpret online information efficiently and effectively, this is a must-have addition in both the school and home libraries.
Barbara Braxton

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