Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 166: Hottest Coldest Highest Deepest

Children are naturally curious.  That is one of the things I love most about them, both as a parent and a teacher.  Along with kindness, compassion, and empathy, I think that curiosity about the world in which we live is one of the most valuable qualities we can instill in our children.  Our planet is as beautiful and diverse as the people who call it home, and teaching our kids to respect both is vital to their future and ours.  But of course, if children are to appreciate and respect the earth and its inhabitants, they first need to learn about them! I love finding a fabulous reference book for kids almost as much as I love watching my son soak up all of the knowledge inside.  If your children have ever asked about which river is the longest, which mountain is the highest, or what place is the hottest, this is the book for them!  (And if they haven't, this is sure to capture their interest.)  I was so excited to find this book the last time we were at the library.  I was drawn to it by its title and cover alone, and knew that its beautiful presentation of facts inside would be right up my son's alley.

In Hottest Coldest Highest Deepest, author and artist Steve Jenkins gives us a fantastic look at some of the most extreme places on earth: hottest and coldest, wettest and driest, windiest, snowiest, rainiest, and more.  The text itself is generally short and factual, but Jenkins includes other relevant and contextual information for each location, as well.  Each page contains a small insert map showing the location of the place in the world, as well as a comparative diagram that enables the reader to better visualize just how extreme the place really is.  (Can you sense my geography-teacher-self's excitement here?)  The longest river page, for example, shows the length of the world's four longest rivers compared to the width of the entire United States.  It's one thing to know that the Nile is 4,145 miles long, but that fact means something far greater when you realize it is the same as traveling all the way across the U.S. and then half way back again.  The page dedicated to Mount Rainer, the snowiest place on earth, shows the comparative heights of an average New York City snowfall (3 ft.), an adult man (6 ft.), and the record one year snowfall for Mr. Rainier (100 ft.)  There are other little gems of information that I love throughout the book, as well, such as Jenkins' distinction between the world's highest mountain (Everest, with the highest height above sea level) and the world's tallest mountain (Mauna Kea, in Hawaii, which is taller than Everest from base to summit, though is not as high above sea level.)

Now on to the the illustrations!  Jenkins' textured paper collages are gorgeous (I particularly love the one for the world's most active volcano in Sangay, Ecuador), and I can't help but want to do more collage art with my kids after reading it.  This would be a fabulous book to have in any elementary classroom library, or any child's library, for that matter.  I feel like I've been going on about this book for too long now, so I'll just wrap things up by saying this book is excellent!  Readers of all ages, parents included, are bound to learn something new, and hopefully be inspired to learn more about our amazing planet.  I wish you and your children a fun journey as you set out to learn more about the world together.


Archaznable said...

Yup children's imagination are all out of the box it's an awesome book to read for children .. Blogging Profits Unleashed

Post a Comment