Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book Review: Flanimals & The Ocenology Handbook

On our way to 150 books this summer, we've tried to include a little of every topic. But over and over again, we come back to stories that feature animals.

Flanimals Pop-Up
Flanimals Pop-Up by Ricky Gervais is such a fun book. There's no other way to describe it. We've read it four times over the last week. Little Man is in love with the critters that pop-up on each page, and the snarky, yet amusing comments that accompany them.

The first page explains exactly what Flanimals are (well, kind of). They "range from Sprengled Humpdumplers to Oyngless Larbs, from Spuzz Gups to Helm Grindlers. They are all useless and pointless."The pop-ups are wonderfully detailed, and the pages also contain flaps that can be opened to reveal more critters, goofy scenes, or Flanimal attacks, among other things.For ages 5 and up, this one was an instant hit in our house. Both the Little One and I couldn't get enough.

The only downside? While the book is very sturdy, when it arrived, there was one torn pop-up. It was disappointing for Little Man, but the excitement from the other pages quickly distracted him.

The Oceanology Handbook
The Oceanology Handbook by Professor Pierre Aronnax is designed for kids ages 9 and up, but my 5 year old has such a huge fascination with the ocean, I knew this would be a great read for him. And I was definitely right.

Originally, the handbook was prepared for Zoticus de Lesseps, the author of Oceanology: The True Account of the Voyage of the Nautilus, by his tutor, Professor Aronnax, during their around-the-world journey aboard Captain Nemo’s Nautilus.

The original manuscript for The Oceanology Handbook was found washed up among wreckage on a remote Spanish beach in 1963. It than is suspected to have remained in the finder's family for awhile, and later discovered by a marine biology student in a junk shop.

Designed as "a course for underwater explorers," The Oceanology Handbook contains various sections that discuss the history of the oceans, ships, myths, waves, and animals, among many others. Each section contains several drawings, as well as an activity to supplement the reading.The section on life in the ocean captivated my son. He loved reading about the different levels in the ocean and the sea life that resides there. He also learned quite a bit about food webs and coral reefs.

The Myths of the Sea chapter was very interesting as well. Little Man enjoyed learning more about "sea monsters", and the possible explanations behind the myths.

I was impressed at the sheer amount of information presented throughout the book. Each chapter is short (since there are 32), making them easy to read quickly. Since the book used some difficult language, it's a great book for the two of us to sit and read together.

Copies of the books were provided for our review. All opinions are our own.


Not So Average Mama said...

Those are absolutely awesome! My girls would love them!

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