Publishing Info: Visible Ink Press, October 2009
Number of Pages: 292
Book Category: Non-Fiction, Parenting
- Outer Space (topics covered include Mysteries of the Universe, Planets and the Solar System, Space Exploration)
- Planet Earth and Our Moon (topics covered include Clouds and Storms, Volcanoes and Earthquakes, Going Green)
- Creatures Big and Small (topics covered include Dinosaurs and Ancient Life, Bugs, Fish and Sea Creatures, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians)
- Plant Life (topics covered include Seeds and Growth, Trees, Plants that Help and Heal)
- People Around the World (topics covered include Languages and Cultures, City Life, Farm Life)
- Politics and Government (topics covered include Countries, Wars, Governments, U.S. State Facts and Trivia)
- How Things Work (topics covered include Buildings, Communication and Electronic Devices, Flying High)
- Math, Measurement and Time (topics covered include Numbers and Counting, Weights and Measures, Calendars and Telling Time)
- All About My Body (topics covered include Bones and Joints, Muscle Power, Blood, Senses, Eating and Drinking, Sickness and Health)
- Daily Life (topics covered include Families, Pets, Going to School, Bicycle Tips, Safety Tips, Tough Questions like Divorce, Death and God)
Each section has a series of questions related to the main topic and a short but thorough answer. Many of the questions are accompanied by full-color photographs or drawings (100 in all). Most questions are answered in a single paragraph, but other questions are answered in several paragraphs if the topic warrants. The answers are direct and to-the-point but careful to be accurate and thoughtful. For example, consider this question and answer:
How many planets are there?
Scientists do not know how many planets there are in the universe. However, eight planets orbit the Sun. They are Mercury (which is closest to the Sun), Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
If you were thinking: “Hey wait. There are nine planets! What about Pluto?” Well, the answer to “Why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore?” is provided on p. 6. (Poor Pluto got demoted to “dwarf” planet status.)
In addition to answering straightforward science-type questions, the book also tackles questions in more “gray” areas such as “Who is God?” and “Where do people go after they die?” and “Does it hurt to die?” The author is careful to give non-judgmental answers to these “loaded” questions, and I personally was happy to have some help with the “Who is God?” question.
The end of the book includes a list of books and web sites for additional information, and the book includes an index for quick reference.
The book is written in easy-to-understand language that older children would be able to comprehend on their own. For younger children, the answers are easy for parents to paraphrase or shorten as needed.
- How did the first person come alive?
- What is the last number?
- Who is God?
- Where does God live?
- Where is Grandpa now that he died?
- When will I die?
Needless to say, I need all the help I can get! He also asks more common questions such as “Why is the sky blue?” and “Why are rain clouds gray instead of white?” and “What does poison ivy look like?” (Fortunately, there was a photo of poison ivy in the book. We had taken a walk this spring and I kept telling him to stay on the path in case of poison ivy but couldn’t tell him what it looked like, even though he asked 10,000 times. I just kept saying “It has three leaves, I think.”)
I’m also the type of person who has no idea how things like electricity works or how cars run so it is useful to me to have an answer that is easy for both him and me to understand. I like having a book where I can quickly look up the answer instead of running to the computer and trying to find an answer and then “translate” the answer to a level appropriate for his age.
Besides being a useful resource for answering tough questions, I think the book is just interesting. I found myself reading some of the sections just to satisfy my own curiosity, and I can easily envision curious kids devouring this book.
Does this book have the answer to every question you might be asked by your child? Of course not. No book could possibly do that. However, the book seems to cover all the major bases and is a great tool to have at your disposal.
Why and Where I Got The Book
I received my review copy from Lisa Roe, Online Publicist, who can be found at http://onlinepublicist.blogspot.com. Thank you, Lisa, for the opportunity to review this book. Be sure to visit Lisa’s blog for more information on books available for review (see the Current Projects list on her left toolbar) and for links to other reviews of this book.