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Visual Explorers Series (softcover set) Review by Rebekah Teague

Barron’s Educational Series
250 Wireless Blvd
Hauppauge, NY 11788

I received four books in the Visual Explorers Series for review.

Wonders of the World
Inspects and Spiders
Rocks, Crystals, and Gems

Wonders of the World
introduces children to the awe-inspiring wonders of our beautiful planet. Natural wonders, such as the Grand Canyon and the Galapagos Islands are featured. Man-made places and palaces, like Mount Rushmore and Machu Picchu, are also presented in all their wonder. The book is filled with stunning pictures from all over the world.

Inspects and Spiders provide kids with a fun and interesting look into the world of all things creepy crawly. The book begins with the insect life cycle. We then are presented to the insects in a variety of ways. For example, one sections talks about the bugs that might be jumpers or swimmers. Another section talks about the bugs that are helpful. The pictures are bright and colorful with fascinating facts at every turn of the page.

Rocks, Crystals, and Gems will appeal to the young geologist. This gorgeous book shows us, not only how rocks and crystals are formed, but talks about fossils and beautiful gemstones.

Space is a captivating look at galaxies, the solar system, and meteors. We are also given a look into space missions and space exploration throughout the years.  Each page is filled with stunning space photography and intriguing facts.

All four books contain a handy glossary and index in the back.  The ages recommended for this series is 8 and up.

These books are not only informative, but they are just plain gorgeous. My original use for these books was to provide my son (who is dyslexic) with some high interest/low ability reading material. I wanted him to have a set of books that he could enjoy without the pressure of high level reading.  I don’t want him to think I was forcing “baby books” on him. This series certainly fits the bill. He enjoyed learning about the transit of Venus, reading a little bit about the Hope Diamond and learning about an Australian Peacock spider. I, myself, discovered new places to dream about visiting. For example, Giant’s Causeway found along the northern Irish cost, looks like it was formed by giant hands.

The information in all the books is presented in an easy-to-read to manner. Important words are in bold and interesting bits of material are located in little circles, squares and lists.  I do need to tell you that there are references to the earth being billions of years old. I personally found the references to be good opportunities for conversation about creation and the inconsistences of some scientific theories.

Overall, these are all excellent books to have in any homeschool library.

—Product review by Rebekah Teague, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016