Monday, June 11, 2012

Nonfiction Monday is here! Featuring DK Pocket Genius

Welcome, everyone!  I'm happy to be today's host for Nonfiction Monday,
a weekly gathering of bloggers writing about nonfiction books for kids. 

DK Publishing. 2012. Pocket Genius series. New York: Dorling Kindersley.

I've always loved camping, hiking, plants and the outdoors, but was never much of a bird watcher.  My husband, however, is a bird lover and can tell the difference between similar waterfowl or shore birds at a great distance.  The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds has been a fixture in our house for ages.  After the addition of curious kids, we added the Field Guide to Seashore Creatures, North American Trees, and North American Insects & Spiders.  There's something very satisfying about these little books - a modern, non-lethal form of hunting perhaps.  I love that "Aha, I've found it!" moment when I discover the unknown bird in the yard or the little critter crawling on the windowsill.  So, it was with pleasure that I received the set of DK Pocket Genius guides for my branch.
Now granted, kids won't be able to spot a shark or dinosaur in the neighborhood and rush home to identify it, but the books are designed in much the same manner as adult field guides and will teach the same classification skills.  For example, Sharks begins with an overview of sharks, their common attributes, habitats and features.  The guide is then divided into two sections: Sharks and Rays, skates, and chimaeras.  Sections are then subdivided into types (e.g. Frilled and cow sharks) and then into the neat little photographic plates with which any fan of field guides is familiar.

Differing from adult guides, the informative text is presented in the same box as the photograph (no flipping to tissue paper thin pages in the rear).  Similar to adult guides, icons appear in each box.  These icons, however, are much more fun than a silhouette of a tree-clinging bird or coniferous tree!  The shark icon depicts a swimmer with a proportionally sized shark swimming above.  The Rocks and Minerals guide shows a hand next to the average size of a found specimen.  Animals and Dinosaurs icons compare a human body to the featured creature.

Each book also contains fun facts, an index and a glossary. And while they don't have the flexible, textured covers of National Audubon Society guides, they are still a cozy and satisfying size, about 5.5" x 6.5" x .5".  The publisher's suggested age for Pocket Genius books is 8 and up.

I may be nerdy, but I like them!

Future additions to the series will include: Ancient Egypt, Earth, Space and Bugs.

 I look forward to reading your offerings.   Add your link below using InLinkz.  Thanks!


  1. Hi there! Thanks so much for hosting this week. I've been meaning to find more nonfiction books for my ten year old daughter and you had me at rocks and minerals. :) Will definitely check this out.

  2. Hi! Thanks for hosting today! I like the small size of these books --they sound interesting. Thanks for the review

  3. I'm with you about the bird watching "oh, there was a bird. I wonder what it was." I do better with plants and flowers (they move much, much slower) and always carry an indentication guide when hiking. There is something satisfying learning the name of a pretty flower or new plant. I'll check out a couple of your recommendations for the library.
    Thanks for looking after this week's NFM event, too.
    Love the linking device.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  4. Thanks for hosting today! I love the look of this new series, as with anything DK I see that they live up to high standards.

  5. Man, I just learned Mr. Linky, but inlink was so much cooler with the picture and everything! Thanks for hosting and making me learn something new!

  6. Thanks, everyone, for joining in today. For those of you who like InLinkz, I can tell you that it's very simple and really helps out if you have to work on your hosting day! If you want images, it costs 1.99, but for that price, you may use it at will for one month. Well worth it, I think.

  7. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is "The adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Barry Blitt.

  8. Thank you, Janet. I added your link for you. I've seen many versions of Mark Twain's life, but not one written from the perspective of Huck Finn! Interesting.


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