National Geographic Kids, Holiday Gifts + Giveaway

National Geographic Kids Holiday Gifts, Image: Sophie Brown via National Geographic
National Geographic Kids Holiday Gifts, Image: Sophie Brown via National Geographic

If you have a kid who’s obsessed with learning, then National Geographic Kids might just have the perfect present up their sleeves this holiday season. Their latest range of fact-filled books covers thousands of subjects and has something for kids of many different reading abilities. My kid, seven-year-old F, is obsessed with facts, he simply loves accumulating knowledge and I believe he’s gonna make one heck of a pub quiz teammate in the future. When National Geographic Kids gave us the opportunity to check out their new range of books, I knew he would be a perfect fit.

Weird But True 8, Image: National Geographic Kids
Weird But True 8, Image: National Geographic Kids

We were sent three of the National Geographic Kids books, each one catering to a different audience. Weird But True 8 is the smallest of the set with the least text per page, so this was the one we opened up first. I used it for the free reading part of F’s homework for a few nights, allowing him to pick and choose what to read out loud to me from its pages. It was easily one of the most fun homework sessions we’ve had in weeks with F giggling away rather than complaining about being forced to read – something he currently despises.

“EWWWWW!” he’d exclaim on turning the page, followed by him excitedly reading out that scientists have created a vomiting machine to help them study how viruses spread in the air.

“Why is this book so gross?!” he asked a little later. “Because it’s aimed at gross little boys like you who like that stuff,” I replied, earning myself a growl and a seven-year-old suddenly on top of me.

Not all the facts are gross of course. Did you know, for example, that one in four medicines comes from rainforest plants? Or that cars are the most recycled product in the US? Well, now you do. If you want your child to bombard you with “did you know…” statements over the holiday period then this is the book for you. At least it’ll stop F explaining Pokemon evolutions to me for the hundredth time this week. I did find myself frequently wishing for a little more background to the facts, you can’t tell me that scientists have created swimsuits for sea turtles and not tell me why, but there was nothing that a quick Google search on my phone couldn’t resolve.

5,000 Awesome Facts 3, Image: National Geographic Kids
5,000 Awesome Facts 3, Image: National Geographic Kids

The second book in the set is also the largest. 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) 3 is a 12″x9.5″ hardback with over 200 pages that really do cover a mind-boggling array of subjects. 50 Dusty Facts About Ancient Ruins, 50 Intergalactic Facts About Star Wars, 15 Snappy Facts About Bubble Gum – this book really does cover what feels like everything so thankfully there’s an index to help you discover things. I also particularly liked the counter at the bottom of each page which counts up how many facts you’ve learned so far, assuming of course that you’re reading from front to back.

I also used this book as a free reading choice, allowing F to pick and choose what pages he wanted to read aloud to me. He surprised me by choosing the pages about vampires (I think all that Nightmare Before Christmas recently has been rubbing off) but he was especially interested in the facts about rockets and found it hysterical that the fuel for V-2 rockets was made from potatoes.

Finally in our selection was the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2017. With much smaller text, and far more writing per page than the other two, this is a book aimed at slightly older kids and so it didn’t appeal to F quite as much. Give it another year or two, however, and I know that will change. The almanac again covers an enormously varied selection of subjects that are grouped into categories such as Your World 2017, Amazing Animals, Super Science, History Happens, and Wonders of Nature. Also mixed in are a number of quizzes, jokes, and useful resources including guides on letter writing, research, essay writing, and giving an oral report – which makes this an exceptionally helpful book for kids of around middle school age.

Prize Pack, Image: National Geographic Kids
Prize Pack, Image: National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids have kindly provided us with a prize pack which includes:

To be in with a chance to win, please fill out the form below. This contest is only open to US addresses and is open until 11:59pm PST Friday, November 25th. Good luck!

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