Thursday, December 7, 2017

Bet you didn't know! - a review

A few days ago I suggested a possible holiday gift for the youth services librarian on your list.  Today I have a suggestion for a child - especially if you know a curious child who is a reluctant reader. Of course, this book would be a great purchase for any school or public library, too. *


Bet you didn't know!: Fascinating, Far-out, Fun-tastic Facts
National Geographic Kids, 2017

A teacher used to seek my advice whenever her class was prepping for the annual "academic bowl," which pitted schools against each other, and was difficult to prep for because of the random, Jeopardy-like questions.  I always supplied books similar to Bet you didn't know!: Fascinating, Far-out, Fun-tastic Facts.  They are entertaining as well as educational.

Although many books in this genre are similar, I like this one for the following reasons:

  • It's big—192 pages and more than 12" in size.
  • It has an index.  It's fun to browse randomly, but sometimes you just need to quickly find the page number for a particular fact.
  • You can always count on National Geographic books to have excellent photographs.
  • The categories within the book (there are more than 80) were chosen specifically for their kid-appeal factor, e.g., "Dolphin Facts to Flip Over," "Fiery Facts about Dragons".
  • It's very current.  The "What's the Difference" category even discusses the difference between macaroons and macarons. 
 My favorite section is "Page-Turning Facts About Books."  Among the ten bookish facts is this little-known gem,

"J.K. Rowling considered calling the final Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Elder Wand."

 The publisher's suggested age range for this book is 8-12.  If you decide to purchase a copy, consider your local independent book store.


 From the publisher:


"BIG, packed with gorgeous photos and illustrations and guaranteed to keep kids occupied for hours and hours, Bet You Didn’t Know is the perfect holiday gift for the fact-lover or for your kid’s favorite teacher’s classroom. Did you know that the first stop signs were black and white? Or that a litter of kittens is called a kindle? Or that butterflies can see more colors than humans can?  Based on a favorite department in Nat Geo Kids magazine, this book is overflowing with fascinating facts, silly stats, and catchy little knowledge nuggets in all kinds of cool categories, from astronomy and sea creatures to revolutions and breakfast. Special features include Extreme Weirdness, Strange Places, Wacky World, and more."



Note: My copy of Bet you didn't know! was supplied by the book's publicist.

*As always, I make no promises that I will review books that I receive, and I receive no remuneration for books that I review for my blog.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Lit - a review

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult
Written and read by Bruce Handy
HighBridge Audio, 2017

Some unsolicited gift advice for you today. 🎁

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Wild Things for AudioFile Magazine

Usually, I'm a proponent of using your local library, however, if your holiday gift list includes a youth services librarian, you might want to buy this one!

Click any of the links to read my review of this Earphones Award winner in AudioFile Magazine