Review Blog

Jan 21 2020

Cat science unleashed by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen

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Photographs by Matthew Rakola. National Geographic Kids, 2019. ISBN: 9781426334412. 80pp., pbk.
(Age: 6-12) This is part of the NatGeo Kids Hands-on science series and complements their website aimed at 6-12 year olds. But rather than just facts and figures about cats that can be found in any book about them, this encourages the reader to participate in 22 safe and cat-friendly activities that let them work alongside their cat to discover what makes it tick.
They can learn the effects of catnip and why it can see so well in the dark; how it balances so well and always land on its feet as wells as toys to make. Each activity is paired with step-by-step instructions, clear and interesting scientific explanations, and cool photographs shot specifically for this book. Hands-on activities and fun information for budding scientists prompt further learning and offer a behind-the-scenes look at current feline research.
Using a magazine format with lots of photos and diagrams as well as information in accessible chunks, it is divided into four chapters, each accompanied by relevant explanations and activities. There is also a glossary, an index, and other extra information to help students build their information literacy skills as they learn to navigate non-fiction texts.
There are often queries to TL networks about what are the best magazine subscriptions to continue as popularity tends to wane, and for the primary school age group, Nat Geo Kids is always near the top of the list proving it has stood the test of time as an investment. With such a focus on the environment well beyond the curriculum, it just make sense to make it available to our students.
Barbara Braxton

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