Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Inside Out Human Body: Explore the World's Most Amazing Machine! by Luann Columbo


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
What do you think is the most amazing machine in the universe? A superconductor? The modern computer? A rocket ship? Think again: It’s the human body!
Astonishingly intricate and complex, your body grows, heals itself, and performs a mind-boggling number of complex functions all at the same time! Discover the amazing human body, system by system and layer by layer, in this fascinating book.
Inside Out: Human Body takes you on an incredible journey through the powerful muscular system, the "bone zone," the long and windy road of the digestive system, the blood-pumping circulatory system, the forty-seven-mile long nervous system, and beyond! A unique layered model of the human body serves as the center point of each section, revealing key body parts and functions, while entertaining and informative text explains how the body works.
Each section is fully illustrated with colorful diagrams and includes fun, interactive lessons for you to try yourself. You can learn how to take your own pulse, how to make your arms float, and even what the color of your urine means! Sometimes the most incredible wonders are right under our noses.


MY TAKE:
This is my favorite book in the series.

I already learned all the trivia in the book during college, but I still enjoyed reviewing it. There are really good analogies here that make it easier to understand concepts. I liked that aside from facts, there are try-this activities. It makes it easier for people to retain knowledge when they get to learn by doing.

The information in the book is a little advanced, so it's best for pre-teens and teens in junior high and high school. Younger kids can still appreciate the illustrations and diagrams, though.

I wondered near the start why the diagrams were only half. As it turns out, it was half because the book is divided by system, and that particular system had several pages devoted to it. That system is the skeletal system, and those pages were quite worth it because it included explanations on things like how bones heal when they are broken. There were also other systems that were two pages each.

It's a really good book, and my only real quibble with it is that the background color for the digestive system is dark and the font color is black so it's hard to read the text.

MY SON'S REACTION:
My son is too young to retain most of the terms in the book, but he is familiar with most body parts and he had fun looking at the pictures in the book.

I pointed out the internal organs and tried my best to simplify the functions of each in an effort to explain it to him, and he seemed to understand it. At the very least, he was fascinated by it, so this is definitely a book I can see us reading again and again until he is old enough to read and understand it on his own.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Your body absorbs nutrients like sponge soaks up water. Sugar molecules are like small drops of water, and proteins and starches are like large puddles. Your body can absorb the smaller sugar molecules quickly. But energy from sugar is also used up quickly. 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: Inside Out Sharks: Look inside a great white in three dimensions! by David George Gordon


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Journey inside a shark and live to tell the tale! With Inside Out: Shark, you’ll take a three-dimensional tour through a great white to learn about the unique bodies of these eating machines.
Why are shark eggs called “mermaid purses”? What in the world are “skin-teeth”? Do sharks deserve the nickname “man-eater”? Find the answers to these questions and more in this action-packed book, which dives deep under the surface to explore the world of these astounding animals.
From the eerie goblin shark to the wide-eyed hammerhead to the most feared shark of them all, the great white, see the world from a shark’s-eye-view—and get an in-depth look at these most mysterious and misunderstood predators.

MY TAKE:
I really like this series, and this book lives up to my expectations.

The book's format is the same as others in the Inside Out series. The pages are divided by system (skeletal, dermal, etc.) and you can see the insides of the shark in the middle of the book. Each page also contains plenty of shark-related trivia.

There is a lot of information in the book, some of which I already knew while the others are new to me, but I liked that the way in which the information was presented kept in from being overwhelming. One of my favorite things I read in the book was about shark teeth. I knew that sharks had plenty of teeth, but I didn't know that different sharks had differently-shaped teeth. It was very cool to see the illustrations of the teeth.

MY SON'S REACTION:
I wasn't sure how my son would react to this because I thought there was a chance he might find the drawings scary. As it turns out, he actually liked this book a lot.

When he saw the cover, he wanted to read it right away. He also started singing the Baby Shark song from Pinkfong. He couldn't read the information yet, so I just told him about some of it. He reacted to some of the things I told him, but he was more interested in the illustrations.

I think this is another good buy for when he's older.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Great whites are prone to eat things made of metal. 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures: Step Into a Prehistoric World by Emily Hawkins


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
From the team behind the best-selling Atlas of Adventures comes this prehistoric journey of discovery. You’ll get to embark on over thirty dinosaur adventures that will take you all around the world! Travel back in time to lock horns with a triceratops, stalk prey with a T-Rex, and learn to fly with a baby Pteranodon. With hundreds of things to spot and facts to learn, this is the biggest Atlas adventure yet!
MY TAKE:
My son has recently taken a liking to dinosaurs so it was a given that when I saw this book on NetGalley that I would request it so we could review it.

The copy I received from NetGalley was only a few pages, so basically a sampler, but it was enough for me to get a good idea of what the rest of the book is like.

There's a two-page spread for each "main" dinosaur. There's an introduction for each dinosaur which describes what would have been a typical moment for that particular dinosaur (prey getting hunted, etc.). The illustration is one whole picture spanning the two pages and includes not only the main dinosaur but other animals and dinosaurs that might have been in that area/time period and interacted with the main dinosaur. There are trivia scattered all over the page related to the dinosaurs and animals. There's also a small box containing information on the dinosaur, specifically: name meaning, where the first fossil was found, period, family, diet, and size.

I love the anecdotes and the trivia I learned, such as how one dinosaur fossil was found by a child and another was found by a sheep farmer.

The illustration style and colors are not my cup of tea but they are a good fit with the topic. I did like that there are little Easter eggs in the illustrations. I first noticed it in the Pterodaustro page and thought I might be mistaken until I saw another in the Pteranodon page. I went back to the other pages and sure enough there are little funny things in other dinosaurs' pages as well.

MY SON'S REACTION:
My son loved this one of course. He's familiar with the Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, and Baby Pteranodon, but not the others yet.

He liked observing and noting what was going on in the drawings. I think this will be a good reference book for when he's older.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
The terrifying Velociraptors in the film Jurassic Park were actually based on Deinonychus; real Velociraptors are much smaller. 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: The Snowbear by Sean Taylor


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Snow comes in the night, and Iggy and Martina make a snowbear. But then a sledge ride takes them deep into the woods. How will they get back home again? The Snowbear is a spellbinding story about the magic of snow and the power of a child's imagination. With a simple text and beautiful illlustrations, it will be read again and again. Themes of friendship, loyalty, and bravery make it a great choice for story time, as a bedtime read or on car trips. Children will love the crisp, wintry setting brought to life by Claire Alexander’s art. 
MY TAKE:
There's so much to love about this book.

First of all, there's the story. We don't get snow in my country, but my son and I enjoyed the story anyway. (He's seen snow in books before so it wasn't a foreign idea to him.) I liked how the story played out. Some may find the plot twist a little predictable, but I liked how it gave you (the adult) that Did-it-really-happen feeling while kids will mostly find it cool and plausible. The ending was A+ too. It feels hopeful and beautiful.

I really liked the illustration style of this book. Maybe it was because of the topic, but it reminded me of the cover (both front and back) of The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes. The media used looks a lot like a mix of colored pencils and watercolor, which are my two favorite coloring materials because I love the look they produce. The effect is something soft and somehow nostalgic, which is so fitting for this book.

MY SON'S REACTION:
By now, I've gotten really good at picking books I know he'll like, and as I expected, he loved the book.

He really liked the bear, and he empathized easily with Martina and Iggy who appeared to be close in age to him. Plus, the length of the text and the placing of the line/paragraph breaks were just right for him.

His favorite scene was easily the one where they were sledding downhill. His next favorite scene was the one with the wolf.

Overall, I think he liked the illustration style as well. He took time looking at the pages, which he doesn't really do when the illustrations aren't to his taste.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
And maybe he was right about that. 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: Surprise! by Mike Henson


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Badger wants to show Rabbit something. But why do the lights keep going on and off? There are plenty of surprises in store for the animals in this simple, vibrant picture book which is both a mystery and a guessing game. As young readers prepare to turn the pages, they can try to predict what will happen next.
MY TAKE:
I enjoyed reading this book with my son.

The book doesn't have a lot of text so it was quick and easy to read. Plus, a good number of that text was the word "surprise," which my son has now learned to read, thanks to the book.

I thought this book was perfect for my son and other kids his age and younger, because there's not a lot of words and with every turn of the page, something happens, so they don't get bored.

I liked the illustration style and the coloring used in the book. I did find it a little odd though that near the end of the book, the font and style/medium used changed. I really liked the font (a serif font) and colors used. I'm not entirely sure what medium was used but it looked like at least some of it could be colored pencils. The colors near the end of the book were more solid and had no visible lines you would associate with colored pencils. 

MY SON'S REACTION:
My son loved the characters in the book, and he thought they were quite funny.

He was surprised whenever the lights in the book were turned off, and the first time it happened, he asked me why it was turned off.

He was able to empathize easily with the rabbit, and he acted sad during the book's plot twist, which I found a little amusing.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"Surpr-oh..." 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Review: Inside Out T. Rex: Explore the World's Most Famous Dinosaur! by Dennis Schatz


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
The Tyrannosaurus rex has long been hailed as the king of the dinosaurs, but what do scientists really know about this prehistoric creature?
Inside Out: T. Rex offers clues to understanding the most compelling and mysterious dinosaur of them all. Loaded with awesome illustrations and captivating text, a die-cut model within the book’s pages will take you inside T. rex’s body to reveal, layer by layer, how these giant beasts lived more than 65 million years ago.
Each page will bring you deeper into the world of the Tyrannosaurus rex, and show how its specialized anatomy, from its razor-sharp teeth to its massive size, established it as the top of the prehistoric food chain.
MY TAKE:
My son loves dinosaurs, and even though the book is better suited for older children, I had a feeling he would like it anyway, and I was right. This is a book that has a long shelf life. You can buy the book for the pictures and the model, while your child is still learning to read, and your child can still read it and use it when he/she is much older.

The book is divided by body systems, and the text on the pages are divided in small paragraphs that are easy to read and finish. There are a lot of great information in these pages, such as why there are certain parts like muscles and organs that aren't fossilized. The book does point out that there are still many things we don't know about the T. rex because no specific fossils or examples (e.g. eggs) from the T. rex have been found. The paragraphs all have headings that are either statements or questions, and for a few of those paragraphs with question headings, the questions are unanswered.

The book is very colorful and is packed with drawings and photographs, but the best part is the model in the middle wherein kids and adults can better visualize and learn about the parts of the T. rex.

MY SON'S REACTION:
My son is still just learning to read and he has a relatively short attention span, so when I read it with him, we mostly browsed through it.

We talked about the pictures and the drawings. I thought he might not like the model, but he actually did. He found it fascinating.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Based on comparisons to today's animals, T. rex probably had a double stomach. 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: Think Squares!: A Lift-the-Flap Color and Shape Book by Karen Robbins


SUMMARY FROM EDELWEISS:
Preschool children will find this book's colorful art irresistible as they lift the flaps and learn analytical thinking skills. Ten flaps are uniquely designed with squares that reveal the hidden image underneath. Think! And then lift the flap to see. Teachers and parents can test children on colors, counting, size, differences, beginning reading, and comprehension. Think Squares! will increase language and math skills, along with developing small motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Toddlers and preschoolers will have hours of fun playing with this interactive book.

MY TAKE:
I reviewed the Think Circles! book in this series yesterday, and pretty much everything I said in that review applies to this book as well.

The concept is excellent because you can use this book to teach or review colors, shapes (square), and numbers.

Guessing what the items are is a fun game for kids. I mean, after the first reading, kids will already know the answer so it's not as fun, but the book can be read multiple times anyway because there's other things for the child to identify.

Again, I feel like the only thing that is missing here would probably be a starting sentence to set the scene and/or a concluding sentence to round everything out.

MY SON'S REACTION:
He liked this just a little bit more than the Think Circles! book. He was very enthusiastic about the cat wearing 3-D glasses, robots, and presents.

He wasn't as enthusiastic about pointing out the colors, but he pointed out more objects in this book than when we read Think Circles! I think it just so happened that there were more objects here that he liked.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
7 Friendly Squares
What can they be? 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.
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