Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! by DK

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Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! by DK

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Behold the behemoth that is DK's encyclopedia of animals. With its full colour images and punchy facts it's great to look at and learn from.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: October 2016
Publisher: DK Children
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780241228418

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The encyclopedia may be an informative type of book, but it's not always the most interesting. A series of dry facts plastered all over the page with nary an image in sight. This dry type of learning is never going to work with some of our modern youth, more used to spending time looking for imaginary animals on their phones, than researching real ones in a book. If you want to capture their attention, you must first draw their eyes. DK have attempted this in one of the most colourful and vibrant encyclopedias you are likely to see.

From Chimpana to Chimpanzee, Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! covers a multitude of the animal kingdom. Separated into chapters it highlights invertebrates and then different forms of vertebrates including mammals, birds and lizards. So far, so very normal, but to illustrate the different animals DK have packed their book with loads of full colour photos and illustrations.

Animal! has set out to capture the imagination of a tricky group, the 9-15 year olds. Whilst younger children can be entertained with a few pictures and not much information, the older child will need a little more. Providing just pictures to a 12 year old trying to learn is not going to be enough as they also require information. Therefore, DK had to balance the need to attract attention, with also being informative.

They achieve this by making their book big and beautiful. Animal! is an A4 size book full of double spreads, this means that there is a lot of room to play with. A smaller book would have felt crammed if you shoved an image next to a load of writing; by expanding the dynamics of the books, DK have far more space to play with. Therefore, they have giant images, but also plenty of facts. As the book is aimed at the older child, these facts are more educational and not all written for entertainment's sake, but DK have negated a lot of the dryness by separating the facts out into bitesize chunks that can be read when you want.

It is not the factual element of the book that will at first attract, but the pictures. Here Animal! excels. The images look fantastic and almost rise from the page. As the book has to cover the entire animal kingdom you get to see plenty of the well-known, but also many of the unusual. Like any encyclopedia, DK are unable to cover absolutely everything. There is a slight disproportion given to some animals – you may get a double spread on elephants, but only a page on a huge number of moths. Sacrifices needed to be made, but it does mean that as beautiful as this book is to look at, your child may still need to tap up the internet for those last few pieces of information.

Knowledge Encyclopedia Animal! is so well put together that it does not really matter that it cannot cover all, as it is an item to behold in of itself. This is a great gift for a child who loves animals and learning about them. It would also look pretty nifty as a coffee table book.

DK have produced some great encyclopedias over the years for different age groups, including My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things for the younger audience.

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Buy Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! by DK at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! by DK at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! by DK at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Knowledge Encyclopedia: Animal! by DK at


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