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Curious Young Minds Series Review by Jennifer Do Nascimento

Alejandro Algarra and Rocio Bonilla
Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
250 Wireless Blvd
Hauppauge NY, 11788

There is a show on PBS called Sid the Science Kid. It’s a cute program about a young boy who wants to know the how’s and why’s of EVERYTHING. I have often joked that they created that show with my Max in mind. Max is indeed a science kid. Being just five years old, he already can tell you about the water cycle, the life cycle of many insects, the orbiting of the planets around the sun, and much more. For as long as I can remember, he has always been my science guy.

So when we were offered some books from a series called Curious Young Minds, I jumped on it. I believed Max would love them, and I wasn’t wrong.

For our review we received four books in the Curious Young Minds Series. They are: How Do Animals Use Their Five Senses?, Where Do Animals Live?, Why Are Animals Different Colors?, and What Causes Weather and Seasons? They are recommended for children ages four to seven. All of the books are 36 pages in length and have very nice thick, glossy pages.

We read a lot in our family so incorporating these books into our normal routine was easy. I had hardly gotten them out of the packing material before the children were asking to read them. Not surprisingly, they each became a part of our bedtime reading rotation.

All of the books feature a brother and sister pair- Kate, and her little brother, Jack. Together they explore the wonders of our natural world. In What Causes Weather and Seasons? they take a look at the solar system and how it affects our weather, creates the night and day, and gives us our seasons. Along with each of the seasons being examined in detail scientifically, there are also lots of fun and practical ideas of what to do during each one.

In Why Are Animals Different Colors? the children take a look at many different creatures. From skunks to butterflies, and peacocks to cuttlefish, the intricacies of camouflage, warning colors, colors of attraction, and much more are looked at and explained.

In Where do Animals Live? it is all about habitats and biomes. From giraffes on the savannah to weavers, nest builders, and diggers, the children take a look at not just where the animals live, but also why they live there. Animals from all over the world are examined. Birds of the air, creatures of the sea, and even ants and bees are talked about. At the end it mentions Extreme Homes, like the desert and tundra. I’m not sure why, but Max especially liked those pages of the book.

In How Do Animals Use Their Five Senses? Kate and Jack take a very neat look at the five senses (smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing) and their use in the animal kingdom. This book was Max’s favorite. He’s a lover of all creatures. Not a day goes by in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn when he doesn’t bring some kind of critter or insect that he has found outside into the house. He reminds me a lot of Dickon from The Secret Garden in that aspect. But back to our science book! Within the pages of this one you’ll find explanations for the number of eyes, whiskers, antenna, and much more.

Other than the beginning and ending of each book, there really is no dialog. The books are filled with facts, but not in a dry manner. The tone of all of the books is very whimsical and conversational, and they’re filled with beautiful drawings of nature and the children.

At the end of each book is a two-page Parent Guide filled with more information about the subjects of the book. This might come in handy when the children are older, but for now there is more than ample information within the books to appease Max’s curiosity.

I am surprised by how much I learned, and how much has stuck with me! These are wonderful books that I highly recommend to any family. Each book is available for just $7.99.

-Product review by Jeniffer Do Nascimento, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016