Fun, Useful and Interesting Books from National Geographic Kids


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe summer is fast approaching. What a year we have had. We have made huge strides fighting the world pandemic. Our state is going to open up fully on the 29th. The vaccines seem to be working. We have been lucky. Hazel's age is approved for the vaccine so she will be fully vaccinated a couple of weeks into her summer vacation. She has also been in school in person all year. However I know many schools were not in person. Many kids are a bit behind so this summer it will be even more important to have them reading and learning. Today I am going to share three fun, useful and interesting books that kids will love learning from this summer. All three are from National Geographic Kids which means they are pretty easy reads without long stories or chapters and more fun facts and photos. We will start with the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2022.

Now I have been reviewing the National Geographic Kids Almanacs for several years. Their format is pretty much the same every year. They are recommended for ages 8-12 and cover so many different topics. Here is this year's contents.

I love how it covers things from the world, culture, science, history, geography, as well as games and more! The only thing I felt was missing this year was more on Covid-19. I feel the kids really want to learn more about it but there is not information that is written for their level of understanding. Sadly, there are only a few mentions of it in the first chapter like the page below as well as mention of the Summer Olympics being delayed a year.

However the information that is great in this book about so many different topics. It includes animals, technology, space, culture, and even Harry Potter!

Every page is full of photos and fun facts. Hazel loved these books but alas she has aged out of them. However I did notice Steve checking it out the other day. I love that you can turn to any page and learn something that you probably didn't know.

The book gives helpful ideas and tips as well as activities the kids can do this summer! Plus it is a great resource for projects and more. I also love that you don't have to sit down and read it through. You can choose one section or even one page and learn something new.

Our next book is More Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff by Stephanie Warren Drimmer. Now I previously shared the first book with you. This book is truly fascinating. It covers so many different things from index cards to pizza and more. Now Hazel's class has been studying the Aztecs and Inca. I was marking pages for her. Did you know the potato originated in the Andes? Yup, the Inca people were growing potatoes when the Spanish arrived. The Spanish brought potatoes back to Europe but the Europeans first only saw beauty in the plants and did not want to eat the brown lumpy things. There are stories like this one and more. Here is the Table of Contents of the book. You can see the variety of everyday stuff covered in the book.

Throughout the book there are of course beautiful photos as well as little side notes that share a bit about the "stuff" with a fact or cultural use. Once again it is a book you don't have to read straight through but can pick the topics you find most interesting. I always find the reluctant readers to like these types of books.

I love learning the history behind objects, celebrations, food and more and I love how the history is shared in such an interesting and concise manner. It makes kids want to read more and learn more.

There are also pages with short little facts like the one above. They introduce different things that are used or done around the world. This book is so fun and it just makes you want to read it more and learn more. 

Now who doesn't love a good hack? Our final book for today is 101 Life Hacks: Genius Ways to Simplify Your World by Aubre Andrus. This book is full of useful tips for everything!! It covers the best way to eat (and peel) a banana to ideas on how to relax to how to pack most efficiently. This book covers everything!

There are ideas about conserving water and reusing objects to ideas to help you do your homework. The ideas just keep going and going. Plus many of them give you a reason why an idea works or other suggestions or reasons to do it.

Plus throughout the book are activities and projects to try. There is a project to create a way to never lose your key to making homemade gift bags to making homemade vanilla ice cream in five minutes. There are also profiles of super hackers like Arthur Huang who invented a charger with a zero carbon footprint. There are even hacks to help get your brain working better!

I love all the different ideas in here. Some I had seen previously and others are new to me. It is definitely a very interesting book. It is full of ideas that can keep the kids busy all summer! I did try the tutorial on making a gift bag from wrapping paper. The wrapping paper I used is from 24 Sheets of Tie-Dye Gift Wrapping Paper which I will be reviewing soon! I definitely would practice more on the gift bag making before I would use one. The glue has not dried so I did not add the ribbon yet.

24 Sheets of Tie-Dye Gift Wrapping Paper

All three of these books provide fun and educational activities and things for kids to learn this summer. I hope you will check them all out!