Saturday, May 10, 2014

National Geographic for Kids

As summer is pointing slowly its nose, you might be wondering how you can encourage your kids to be more active and also read more during the warmer season.   Well, National Geographic for Kids has two books that could be a great thing to have this year.


imageAlmanac 2015

About the book

The world’s best-selling almanac for kids is back.   Targeted to ages 8 and up, this is the only kids’ almanac, with mobile media features that allow kids to download National Geographic videos, photo galleries, and games.  This bestseller is packed with incredible photos tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating articles about animals, science, nature, technology, and more.

My Thoughts

I love the National Geographic Kids Almanac.   We have a few from the past years and each time we find interesting information to read.   So it was no surprise that I wanted to review the 2015 version of an already popular book that keeps amaze me every year.   This year, the 2015 Almanac features 40% new content throughout the book, including: cute animals sections, redesigned and updated section about the continents of the world, and much more.

The sections of the book are divided like this:

  • Your World 2015: animal discoveries, sinking of the Lusitania – 100th anniversary, elephant sign language, space balloons, one-way ticket to mars, real-life lightsavers, hot movies in 2015, King Richard III found in parking lot, can dogs sense emotions?, cool events in 2015, sand sculpting championships, sports funnies.
  • Amazing Animals: classification, animal fun, into the water, into the wild, animals in peril, big cats, insects, pets, cute animals, dinosaurs, amazing animal quiz, wildly good animal reports.
  • Going Green: green living, animal survival, our fragile Earth, green inventions, green living, energy, going green quiz, write a letter that gets results.
  • Awesome Adventures: exploration, survival, no limits, awesome adventure quiz, how to write a perfect essay.
  • Super Science: origins of the universe, space, life, human body, all about you, Earth, demolition, inventions & technology, forensic science, super science quiz, research like a pro.
  • Fun and Games: boredom-busting jokes, games, puzzles, mazes, and more fun stuff.
  • Culture Connection: holidays, luck, art, food, language, money, ancient beliefs, religion, culture connection quiz, explore a new culture.
  • Wonders of Nature: weather, turbulent Earth, water, oceans, garden, life zones, wonders of nature quiz, speak naturally: oral reports made easy
  • History Happens: ancient Egypt, life in the past, mystery, international conflicts, United States government, United States history, United States presidents, civil rights, women in history, history happens quiz, brilliant biographies.
  • Geography Rocks: maps, continents, countries, United States, U.S. Territories and the capital, travel, geography rock quiz, finding your way around.

To top it off, this new edition of the National Geographic Kids Almanac is the only kids almanac with mobile media features for iPod Touch and smart phones including videos, photo galleries, and interactive games.  Photographs included in this edition are absolutely stunning and the information share throughout the pages will entertain your kids.

While flipping through the pages of this book, I particularly likes the Sand sculpting championship, 15 cool things about dolphins, the beautiful pictures of the sea turtles, the page on the snowy owls because our area was blessed with these magnificent birds this winter, the handimals pages (stunning and very creative), facts about food we like to eat like tacos and pizzas, to learn more about whether or not I can cook an egg on a sidewalk (I am not telling you….!  *grin*), and some historical facts.  Also, you will find interesting tips on writing assignments for kids.   I have taken the time to highlight these pages for my oldest son in order for him to take the time to read them because I think they contain great insights on how to write reports, biographies and public speaking.

My only negative point is that there is much emphasis on the United States in the history and the geography sections.   But knowing that this book is created in the U.S. I guess it makes sense.  Personally, I would like to have an edition that is Canadian based with Canadian history and geography.  Maybe one of these days, National Geographic Kids will think to make an edition with an emphasis on their northern neighbor – Canada.   But even with the emphasis on the U.S., I think this book is worth getting for your kids.  It is perfect to pack for camp or travel and will provide some interesting reading material for them.

Get Outside Guideimage

About the book

The National Geographic Kids Get Outside Guide inspires kids to get out of the house and explore the great outdoors where they can discover the wonder and amazement of the world around them, whether in their backyard, across the country, or around the world.

From beaches to woods to cities and countryside, kids will be taken on a journey of adventure through outdoor habitats near and far.  In addition, fun activities such a making a backyard bird bath, exploring their local parks, and discovering wildlife will engage the kids all throughout the year.  

My Thoughts

When I was approached to review some National Geographic Kids books, this book was the first one that caught my eyes from the ones offered.  I immediately liked the cover and thought that would be perfect for the RV when we go camping.   Turns out the book is perfect to entertain the kids everywhere we go – whether camping or in the backyard.

This book contains many projects or ideas that they can do and learn during the warmer days.  It contains  fun facts, lists, and sidebars that will supplement the activities to help put information into geographic, scientific, and/or historical context.   In a way it is a great book to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors and explore their surroundings.   There are five sections in the book – each containing numerous activities to do.  The Let’s Get Wet section will offer activities to do near the water.   The Journey Through the Trees will focus on everything that can be done with plants and the animals living in the forest.   The Explore Your Backyard section will encourage your kids to be creative in their own backyard.   The Nature Around Town section will allow your kids to discover nature in your city whether at the park or elsewhere.   We are fortunate to have numerous green spaces in our city as well as lots of walking trails that we can go explore.   Finally, the Let’s Go to the Park will offer activities to do in the parks whether in your town or in your province/state.

Below are some example of the pages found in this book.



Needless to say, when the book arrived in our home, my six year old daughter took it to check out the activities found in it.  She quickly came to me to request some sticky notes in order to mark down some activities she wanted to do this summer.  Her first picks are Make a Leaf or Bark Rubbing and Make Rock Art.   For my part, I personally like the page titled Name that Shell as well as the activity to Make a Solar Oven (which I definitively intend to do with the kids this summer and cook some smores in it…).

This book is definitively packed with fun activities which will spice up your summer time with your kids.  I highly recommend it!

Both the Almanac 2015 and the Get Outside Guide are available at your favourite bookstore, even and



Disclaimer: Thanks to MM Publicity for sending me the above mentioned titles for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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