Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not comprehensive!, 30 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Animal Encyclopedia (Hardcover)
This is the second "Animal Encyclopedia" released by DK. The first one was aimed at the 7+ age range and was much more comprehensive in it's coverage (including fact boxes giving where they live, what they eat, etc).
This "Animal Encyclopedia" is aimed at the 5-8 age range and is slimmer at only 155 pages.
As with all DK titles the pictures are truly *stunning* (and can be seen on DKs website - but buy it here as it's cheaper!) and the animals are grouped into mammals, birds, reptiles & amphibians, creepy crawlies and fish.
There are *lots* of interesting little bits of information (eg Koalas sleep 19 hours a day as it takes so long for them to digest eucalyptus leaves). However, because it is trying to fit so much in, it suffers from having lots of different animals on each page but not much about them. For example the rhino has "skin that is thicker than this book and huge horns that are made of hair" and that's it. So sometimes you learn about what the animals eat, where they live and sometimes you don't.
It does have a question at the bottom of each page for fun learning (eg how much can a camel drink at one time?) and at the beginning of each animal type it has 6 pictures of parts of animals in that section to find. Occasionally there is a "weird or what?" fact (such as the Australian lyrebird can imitate chainsaws and camera clicks).
At the end there is a two page "Amazing animal facts" (such as largest land animal, dullest eater, loudest land animal, tallest animal).
Animals are not arranged alphabetically, but just in the appropriate section. There is an index at the back, but it does not contain every animal in the book (eg cows). The text is fairly simple and the definitions are simplified (which can cause problems - eg marsupials "have a pouch" however Opossums don't, but are marsupials!)
It's good for dipping into and reading the odd page or ten, but it's just frustrating if you want to answer all your inquisitive little one's questions. However, don't get me wrong - this book with it's stunning photographs and little titbits is great and worth getting - it's just a shame the other encyclopedia is currently out of print!
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