Lonely Planet Kids has just launched a new range of books, in time for Christmas. We were sent a couple of titles to try out with the kids, which are both jam packed full of facts and information presented in a fun way which is ideal to get my boys (6, 7 and 9) interested in the topics.

The two books that we’ve been checking out are How Animals Build, and Dinosaur Atlas. Both are a generous size and are full of colour illustrations, flaps to lift and pages that fold out, displaying lots of detailed information. The books combine astonishing facts, quirky humour and eye-catching imagery to ignite children’s curiosity and encourage them to discover more about our planet. 

My boys have enjoyed dipping into these books when they’ve wanted to sit and relax in the evenings after school, and even just reading a couple of pages at a time you will pick up loads of interesting facts!

Both books suit all three of my boys well, and all three of them were happy to read both books, but I would say the Dinosaur Atlas feels slightly “older” and the How Animals Build feels slightly “younger” in terms of the illustration style and content. With How Animals Build has a cute cartoony style for the illustrations and slightly easier text. We really like how there are fun little extras on the page like the “you choose” box on the page below asking the kids to pick which animal and animal home they would like to have if they magically turned into an animal. These little features help prompt more discussion when reading together with the kids, and help them think deeper about the features of each animal home.

Every single page of the book has flaps to lift or something to fold out, so it is really interactive and hands on to keep it engaging and interesting. How Animals Build was the favourite of the two books for T, who is 7.

Dinosaur Atlas was another hit, and was the favourite of the two books for Z (9) and R (6). This book also has lots of flaps and fold outs, but also has lots of photographs including life size photographs of dinosaur fossils which give you an idea of the sheer scale of some of the dinosaurs. The T-Rex tooth takes up a whole page! It’s also really interesting to see the world maps with dinosaurs marked on to show where they would have been living during the various dinosaur eras.

R was also really interested in the geographical information in the book, about how the plates of the Earth shift, and how mountains and earthquakes are created. I was quite impressed with how much he learned from reading about this, and then was able to explain it to me later on. So he had clearly absorbed the information and really taken it on board, and found it fascinating.

These are lovely books to add to the kids collection, and are definitely some of the best non fiction books that we have come across, in terms of their attention to detail and the way everything has been presented.

Lonely Planet don’t just create travel books for kids – they are passionate about using travel and knowledge of the world to inspire children. Visit www.lonelyplanetkids.com, to find lots of free activities and resources to help take this further – from activities families can do at home to the LP Kids blog, containing contributions from younger travellers and interviews with interesting people and travellers from around the world.

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For a full backlist of Lonely Planet Kids books, go to: www.lonelyplanetkids.com/books