October 5, 2014

Weird & Wonderful Creations - A Review

When our oldest was seven, we went to his activities and stayed home most afternoons. Our schedule was straight forward.

Eight years later, our schedule is not so cut and dry. We have four active children, who enjoy out of the house activities. While we do limit time out of the home by consciously choosing the best activities for our time, we do tend to be out of the house often.

From time to time, our youngest has had to attend activities for his older siblings. He has been learning to watch and wait. Now at seven years of age, he generally does well waiting for an activity to be finished. However, some activities, like watching a volleyball game in an enclosed gym, limits his ability to run and roam. In these times, I try to bring along a new-to-him activity or book. Most of the time this is a great idea. It keeps him engaged and extends his ability to sit still.

So, when I had the opportunity to review Weird & Wonderful Creations: 4 Books in 1, I thought this may be a good book to pursue courtside. I was wrong. It just didn't hold his attention for long. He did find it interesting, and thumbed through most of the book. {He skipped the section on spiders claiming they were creepy.} He was able to read the main text and supplemental facts easily and commented on a few of the facts and pictures. Overall, he liked the book, but it wasn't a book which held his attention.

Several days later, I reintroduced the book to him. Because he is studying plants in science, I opened to the section entitled Poisonous, Smelly, and Amazing Plants. Reading the text to him, I maintained his interest by interacting with the pictures and adding a few opinions and facts to the dialogue. It was easy to do as the samples of plants were perfect for a young boy. Plants which smell like rotten meat or eat bugs are excellent choices for a boy.

Though the text did not hold my son's interest, I still think it an excellent introduction to the world around us. Young children of preschool and Kindergarten age will greatly benefit from this book. The photographs are amazing and the easy text will allow for children to get to know wonderful and weird creatures God has made. It could also be used for beginner readers.

In fact, to get the most out of the book, I would recommend introducing the book to toddlers. This would allow for years of viewing and readings. Toddlers could look at the pictures while grown ups or older children comment on the photograph's contents. As a child ages to preschool years, the book could easily be read aloud and used to help foster reading skills. Kindergarten and first grade students would be able to read through the book on their own. All the while, children would be learning about the amazing world God has created. For our copy, we'll be donating it so others of a younger age can enjoy and learn about God's creation.
~ Dorie

Fine Print: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All expressed opinions are my own.

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