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Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! is a extensive visual reference book, filled with facts and interesting information about the animal kingdom. When you first open this encyclopedia you will be impressed by the quality color images and detailed illustrations on every page. The written information is presented in such a way that you will be eager to learn about the animals on each page.
Title: Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal!
Published By: DK Publishing, 2016
Recommended Ages: 9 to 12 years
Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal!
Although this encyclopedia is perfect for children aged 9 to 12 years, my own children (aged 5 and 7 years) are equally intrigued by the animals on each page.Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! is a extensive visual reference book, filled with facts and interesting information about the animal kingdom.
My children (and I) have already flipped through this book from cover to cover; multiple times! My children are quickly learning about new mammals, birds, reptiles and fish and each time they explore the book they ask me to read them something about a new animal they have found. Their exploration has now gone beyond their initial excitement about the stunning images and they are eager to learn more about these amazing creatures.
I personally find this book visually beautiful. I love how the animals have been showcased and how the layout of the pages invites you to explore; yet, it is still organized into specific sections and areas. I also find it very helpful that the scale and size of the animals is visually represented by comparing the animal to either the human hand, half of a human thumb or the average height of a human man.
The specific sizes of these three measurements are included in the Contents section for those who wish to know more specific size details – but for me – knowing how large the Great White Shark is in comparison to an average human man is exactly what I need to visualize the size difference.
In Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! you will be invited to explore the Animal Kingdom. Starting with a summary of the basics:
- What is an Animal?
- Evolution and Extinction
- Animal History
- The Animal Kingdom
Then moving into the 6 classes of animals. Each class has its own color coded section (even the divider bars within each section stay true to the color of the section).
Classes of Animals
The 6 Classes of Animals are: Invertebrates (yellow), Fish (green), Amphibians (orange), Reptiles (purple), Birds (green) and Mammals (blue).
Each class begins by answering the question: What Is A(n) ? and then explores different animals within the class.
For example, in the Amphibians Class you have the following:
- What is an Amphibian? (p 82)
- Red-eyed tree frog (p 84)
- Common toad (p 86)
- Frogs and toads (p 88)
- Great crested newt (p 90)
- Salamanders and newts (p 92)
The What is an Amphibian? section explains the Types of Amphibians, the Key Features of Amphibians, Changing Shape of Amphibians, Breathing Skin of Amphibians and Lethal Defence of Amphibians.
You also get a realistic look Inside an Amphibian with an amazingly detailed illustration of a cross-section of a frog. Each piece of information included either has a corresponding image, or an illustration.
Every class of animal includes the same type of information – as pertains to the class (ie. so birds have ‘Waterproof Skin’ as opposed to ‘Breathing Skin’ as a topic).
Red Eyed Tree Frog
The Red-eyed tree frog is a ‘featured’ animal for Amphibians and it has it’s own 2-page spread. Dominated by a fantastic color image of the the Red-eyed tree frog, the 2-pages provide detailed information about it, along with more illustrations and images specific to the featured animal.
You will learn about the specific features of the skin and eyes, how the feet and legs work, where the animal is located in the world (ie. Central America) and how large they are in comparison to a human half thumb (and in inches and centimeters).
You will also learn the diet the Red-eyed tree frog eats (mainly insects), how they can camouflage themselves from their enemies, how they reproduce (ie. clutch of eggs) and even how they claim breeding territories (by croaking and shaking leaves). Fun facts are thrown in like:
page 85, Red-eyed tree frog, Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal!
The Common Toad
The next 2-pages include a feature about the Common toad. Presented in the same fashion as the Red-eyed tree frog. Specific to the class information is provided: oozing poison, nuptial pads, inflatable defense,and spawning pairs. Facts are also included, such as the latin name, location, length and diet. Fun facts can be found at the very top of the page too, like:
page 86, Common toad, Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal!
The Frog and Toad section continues on the next 2-pages with an introduction to 12 more animals: African Bullfrog, Reticulated Glass Frog, European Common Frog, Wallace’s Flying Frog, Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad, Dyeing Poison-Dart Frog, Tomato Frog (my kids’ favorite!), Long-Nosed Frog, Darwin’s Frog, Surinam Toad, Great Plains Toad and the Striped Burrowing Frog.
I have to tell you the Surinam Toad totally grosses me out – it can be up to 7-inches long and it looks like it has been flattened (like a pancake!). The female actually carries the fertilized eggs in embedded pockets in the skin of her back. The young only emerge and leave after they become tiny toadlets (they stay there in her back as tadpoles).
After the Frog and Toad section we are introduced to the Great Crested Newt (who get’s it’s own 2-page spread), followed by a 2-page spread for Salamanders and newts (including 12 varieties).
Every Animal Feature Includes
You receive an image for every animal included and the location, length, (visual size comparison to either human man, human hand or half a human thumb), and a paragraph of detailed information about the animal – including fun facts (like if it is poisonous and how it protects itself).
With more than 250-pages, Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal!, introduces you to many different animals.
Included are some of our favorites like the Great White Shark, Spotted Seahorse, Komodo Dragon, Crocodilians, Penguins, Parrots, Owls, Monkeys, Rabbits and hares, Bears, Giraffes, Orcas, Tigers, Cheetahs and Lions. You also learn about less well-known animals (to us anyway!) such as Cnidarians, Malaria Mosquitos, Bony Fish, Marine Iguana, Ratites, Wandering Albatross, Monotremes, Canids, Mustelids, Bovids and Cetaceans. Just to name a few!
Along with a Glossary and Index, the end of Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! includes an Animal Science Section. This section is a bit more technical and explores how animals today have evolved through the natural selection of beneficial traits and behaviors. The Animal Science section is extremely interesting and more geared toward the 9-12 year old age group (or adults!).
- Body Shape
- Life Cycles (including metamorphosis)
- Movement (including skeletal systems)
- Feeding (including how teeth vary based on diets eaten)
- Senses (including Super Senses)
- Communication (including visual signals, dances, smells and calls and songs)
- Finding a mate
- Habitats and Ecosystems
- Food Webs (including producers and consumers and energy pyramids)
- Attack and defense
- Living together (including animal groups, social groups, symbiosis, parasites and brood parasite)
- Animals in Danger
I definitely recommend Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! for children who are interested in learning more about the animals in the world around them. The color images practically jump off the pages to grab your attention. My children love exploring the different animals from around the world and one of their favorite games right now is to see which of the animals is bigger than their ‘daddy'(adult male). Darla and Drew have also started to ask questions of our visitors like “Do you know how big a Great White Shark is?” or “Have you seen a Pig Turtle before?” and then off they run to bring out ‘their new book‘ to show and explore some more. I am equally impressed and intrigued with the impressive color images and diagrams and I also really enjoyed the more technical Animal Science section.
Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! will make a great present if you are searching for gift giving ideas!
You can check out the other great books available at DK Canada here:
You can purchase your own copy of Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal directly from Amazon.