Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Doing & Learning
Uncover A Dolphin

Uncover A Dolphin

Fall 2008 Doing & Learning
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: David Gordon
ISBN: 1-59223-879-3
Hardcover Price: $18.95
First, what's cool about this book. At its center-literally-is a 3D model of a dolphin that, as you turn each page, reveals another layer of the inner structure of a dolphin's anatomy. Beyond that great educational gimmick that's likely to attract young readers, at least initially, the book is an informative guide filled with such factual creature briefs as "Wiggle Signals, "Unfishlike Fins," "Fat-Rich Liquid Diet" and "Safety in Numbers." Broken up by anatomical systems that are revealed in model, from skeletal and cardiopulmonary to muscular and epidermis, the info is broken down into clippy, short blocks of reading so kids don't face any type-filled gray pages. And while the colorful text-and-graphics layout looks busy and spans across double pages with each page turn, it all lends itself nicely to those "here's something neat!" moments of discovery young readers enjoy. What isn't so cool? Well, to accommodate the breadth of the dolphin model, the last page of this hard-page book is 5/8-inch thick, which just feels odd. And the see-through plastic window on the front and back cover is durable transparent plastic could have been a firmer quality. That said, this is a fascinating, tactile, hands-in volume. Kids won't be able to resist touching the plastic body parts while reading.
Don Oldenburg   ©2008 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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