Review of “Usborne Mysteries & Marvels of Nature”

The book Mysteries & Marvels of Nature by Elizabeth Dalby (pp. 128) is a classic picture book focused on nature for children.

The Summary

This text provides explanations of various aspects of animals as found in nature. Some of the topics covered is how animals eat, move, defend themselves, communicate, and their life cycles. Each section has various of examples of the theme with a plethora of colorful photos.

The text that is include provides a brief description of the animal(s) and what they are doing in the picture. Leaping tigers, swimming fish, and even egg-laying snakes are all apart of this text.

The Good

The pictures are fascinating, and they really help in making the text come alive. There is a strong sense of color contrast  in the text and you can tell the authors spent a great deal planning the layout of the text. There are pictures of whales, cuttlefish, frogs, beetles, etc.

There is also the use of drawings to depict scenes that may be hard to get in nature. For example, the book explains how the darkling beetle escapes prey by spraying a liquid that stinks. Off, course there is an illustration of this in the text and not a photo. Another example shows a frog waking from hibernating underground.

This text would work great for almost any age group. Young kids would love looking the pictures while older kids can read the text. The book is also largest enough to accommodate a medium size class for a whole class reading.

The Bad

There is little to complain with in regard to this book. It is a paperback text. Therefore, it would not last long in most classrooms. However, the motivation for paperback my  have been to keep the price down. At $16.99, this is a fairly cheap book  for a classroom. Besides the quality of the material there is little to criticize about this book.

The Recommendation

This is a great text for any classroom. Students will spend hours fascinated by the pictures. Older students may enjoy the pictures as well while they need to focus on the text. For families this is an even better text because in most families there would be a reduction in the number of hands that are touching the text.

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