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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a short illustrated book about cetaceans, that group of creatures encompassing whales, dolphins and porpoises. It only takes an hour or so to read, and although the facts and figures are probably a little light on detail it is nevertheless full of fascinating information that will be of value to children between the ages of 5 and 15 - although there's plenty for an adult to learn and enjoy too. I didn't know, for example, that a killer whale - the orca - is actually the largest of the dolphin family. I was surprised to learn that the heart of a blue whale is as big as a car. I was intrigued to discover that the skeletal structure of a dolphin's flipper is quite similar to that of a human hand. And of course whales are awesome creatures and there is never too much to read about them. For the record, I am an avid protester against whaling and find absolutely no justification for it at all.

Anyway this is a simple book that in addition to a lot of useful information contains projects for children to participate in, a quiz to check if your children have taken any notice of what they have heard or read, and a glossary to summarise some key phrases. There is also an index to help find the right page. There will be bigger books on the same subject with far more comprehensive information, but the appeal of this book is that a child's attention should be maintained throughout as it's not too 'heavy' and as a result there's a better chance that the child will absorb and remember more. I enjoyed reading it and my children did too.
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on 30 November 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having already reviewed another title in this series (Senses) I'm pleased to say that the standard of this companion volume is equally high, making it an excellent choice for primary school libraries and parents.

Children aged around 5-7 often develop an interest in cetaceans, particularly dolphins, and the winning picture on the cover will certainly appeal to them. The whole book is well illustrated, being both attractive to look at and easy to read. One of the hardest things to get right for this age group is the right balance between stimulation and information, with many titles cramming too much distraction onto each page. This mistake is avoided here. The layout of each spread is beautiful and both the typography and the presentation of facts is kept clear. I particularly liked the insets showing the bone structure of flippers and the anatomy of a whale's mouth, and the clear map of migration routes.

It's easy to sentimentalise dolphins; this book doesn't go out of its way to undermine their attractiveness but it makes the point that they are highly adapted and sometimes ruthless wild creatures whose primary name is survival - they aren't just there for us to swim with them! As enthusiasms acquired at this age can eventually influence career choices, I liked the inclusion of information on how we find out more about cetaceans and what it's like to do the research.

In a school setting, teachers will appreciate the helpful guidance on curriculum links and extension activities. However, there's a lot that a child reading at home could also learn from this volume. The final pages include resources like a simple quiz, a glossary, an index and, as already mentioned, craft projects and experiments. Some of these would need adult help, but I think Kingfisher get the balance of independent discovery and guided learning about right here. A very worthwhile purchase.
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a brilliant little book for all ages (I even found myself reading it and learning things that I didn't know about them, and I am way past school age!)
I gave this book to my niece, age 6.
She loved it, the pictures are lovely and bright, the book is not overly large or heavy, and there are so many interesting facts and figures, it kept her quiet all the way from home and into London!
All in all a really great little book, whilst aimed at the younger children, anyone that loves Dolphins and Whales, will find this book interesting, but for older kids they may not find it that engrossing!
Lovely little book and I am going to buy her more from the series
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on 16 December 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Our children are really enjoying these great "discover science" books. This book looks at the subject of Whales and Dolphins providing a myriad of information without being heavy. Look out for the sea songs, how these creatures are adapted for the sea and their sea senses.

The beautiful images and illustrations are full of vivid colours and compliment the text which is superbly written in a style that makes the subject easy to grasp and engaging. The book is aimed at children between 7-11 years of age and covers many elements of the English and Science curricula. We have found though that younger children can appreciate these books too. Already our children - 4 & 6 years of age - have used this book for school projects they have done at home.

Along with information there are activities towards the rear of the book there are activities for children to do and a Glossary, Parent and Teacher Notes, Did You Know and even a Quiz to test your children's knowledge. Finally there is a page entitled: Find Out More which provides websites, places to visit and other books to read. As parents we cannot recommend this book more highly.
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VINE VOICEon 29 October 2010
My 7 year old daughter loved this book and it for a while was one of the favoured bedtime reading books. Aimed at children from 5 upwards, this is a clear and simple book brightly illustrated yet filled with interesting facts to keep the parents attention. It is this sort of book that will breed the next wave conservationist and if that's my daughter, then I will be very proud.
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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Many of you may have a similar situation to the one I have.
I have two daughters, one aged 7 and one aged 9; one is fiction and the other non-fiction.
Both of my girls, love animals but my 'fiction girl' found this to be of no interest whatsoever. My 'non-fiction daughter' enjoyed it a lot.
But there just isn't enough of it; the asking price is very reasonable but there are so few pages. This is no Dorling Kindersley book and my money would go in that direction.
If you search on Amazon you will find several alternative dolphin books with many more pages and you can check out the reviews to see how satisfying they are; some of these have over 5 times as many pages with a lot more illustrations.
This is good but there is better out there and you should check out the other options.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We have a few of this kind of book. The kids can't get enough! Animal facts with great illustrations - the most popular books in the house.

This book also includes a kind of revision quiz - which fits right in with how my kids are learning to assimilate data at school, plus some suggested resources for extra learning and even some small projects.

Thanks to these type of books and the wonderful BBC nature documentaries our kids are really learning the value of diversity and conservation. Surely that's a good thing.
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VINE VOICEon 26 November 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is part of a useful series of books aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils. It is well presented and full of interesting information written in an easily accessible style. It doesn't go into too much detail and the language used is suitable for year 4-6 making it useful for guided reading and classroom use.
The only downside that I have is that one or two pages are a little dark (showing deep water) which makes it difficult to read the information clearly.
Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My children love this book- not only is it informative, but the pictures are brilliant. Learn all about Whales and Dolphins with some exciting facts that as an adult, who is interested in wildlife, I didn't know. The pictures are also really detailed and fascinating for children. My six year old son was so pleased with this book that he has begged to go swimming with dolphins. Currently out of my price range, but thankfully, this book isn't!
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on 20 January 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a colourful, well illustrated kids fact book, but there really are not enough facts in it. My 8 year old son enjoyed it but complained that it was really too simple for him. It did peak his interest in these creatures and I have since bought him a rather fuller book about them. I would recommend it for kids of 5-6 year old, but I would advise going for a less simplified alternative for older children.
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