Monday, August 14, 2017

Books for Back to School!

National Geographic. Weird But True Daily Planner
Published June 13th 2017 by National Geographic Society

As someone who cannot function without a paper planner, I looked at this one with great interest. One the upside, it's tremendously amusing, with lots of goofy pictures and fun facts. There is a decent amount of space for kids to write down things they need to do, not tiny lines like some adult planners have. The writing prompts would definitely have been something that my own daughters would have appreciated.

I'm a bit conflicted about the four days per two page spread format. Each day has all of the days of the week listed under the date, which is fantastic if you have purchased the planner and then forgotten it in the cupboard for a year! This could be used during any calendar year because of the format, but I need to see a week at a time. There is also a definite lack of monthly calendars, so it is hard to use for long term assignments and for seeing the big picture.

This is also very heavy, because of the excellent quality of the paper. I see this being used avidly by elementary students who aren't necessarily having to carry it around in a back pack all day. Remembering my calendar criteria at this age, I would say that this could be greatly improved with the addition of LOTS of stickers!

From the Publisher: "Prepare to be amazed each day with weird-but-true facts that will impress your friends and stump your parents. Turn the page and record your school work, keep track of activities, and plan your social life, all while learning wild and wacky things about the world around you!

Fun prompts invite you to celebrate weirdness. Plus there are homework help sections and tons of space to write or doodle your daily schedule any way you wish. With beautiful full-color artwork and engaging information and activities, this is the must-have planner. It's a great way to stand out from the crowd!"

National Geographic. United States Atlas for Kids (Fifth Edition)
Published July 11th 2017 by National Geographic Society
Copy provided by Media Masters Publicity

This large format atlas has two page spreads on every state. There are the standard statistics listed along the side, a brief discussion of the highlights of the state, and terrific full color maps with economy symbols, which was probably my favorite part! There is an extensive index of places (although the town I use to gauge completeness is not included in this atlas!), a glossary, and other supplementary information. Atlases make great reading during rainy recesses and after homework is done, especially for fourth graders who are studying the United States. This would make a great gift for a fact-driven elementary school student or classroom teacher!

From the publisher:
"Kids will have fun learning about every U.S. state in this amazing atlas, packed with maps, stats, facts, and pictures. National Geographic's world-renowned cartographers have paired up with education experts to create maps of the 50 states, U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., that pinpoint the physical features, capitals, and towns and cities of each state. Discover the latest data and trends along with colorful photography of each state and the people who live there.

Key points reflect the latest information about land and water, people, and places. Lively essays cover each region of the country. Eight specially themed maps on nature, population, energy, climate, and more, delve deeper into key issues. State birds and state flags add to the high visual interest. This is a great reference for home and school with all the basics kids need to know to succeed in middle school, high school, and beyond."

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