Thursday, September 09, 2010

Review: Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?

Today we had the pleasure of reading Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? by Robert Wells. And by the way, this is not a paid review, nor did we receive the book free or anything. I review this simply because I want to share a great book! :)

This selection is part Sonlight's P4/5 core curriculum which we use for Noah right now.

It is a slim little book, a nicely illustrated picture on each and every page, and an amount of text appropriate for a preschool attention span. It begins by showing the relative size of a blue whale to other common animals (elephant, lion). With that as a jump point, each page takes us progressively larger relative to the current topic, from whales, to mountains, to planets, to suns, stars, on and on until we reach the size of the galaxy. So a hard to grasp concept of a galaxy's size is broken down into bite-sized pieces. This is a perfect introduction to comparative sizes, concepts of millions and billions (great intro to that on the first page) and brief astronomy for a young child.

This is geared towards ages 4-8. Based on our experiences today, I would say that is pretty accurate. Noah is 5 now and enjoyed it, getting a lot out of it but not grasping it 100%. The pictures were engaging, and the text was approachable for his understanding level. His attention stayed put through the book. Zach is 8 now, and enjoyed it as well, listening to me read it and then grabbing it for a second read on his own, completely grasping the content and staring in wonder. He has a much firmer grasp on just how unimaginatively big a galaxy is after this book. The astronomy of course was more of a review for him, but that is great too, as we are off to build on that for him later on with more in depth astronomy, while Noah will stop here...

No, not more pictures!

IMG_2443, originally uploaded by WeeBeaks.

No, she isn't hiding from the camera yet. She was just napping. Isn't she just adorable! I couldn't resist posting another picture. She is keeping us all busy, but it is well worth it.