NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ANIMAL ENCYCLOPEDIA: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Maps, and More!

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ANIMAL ENCYCLOPEDIA: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Maps, and More! rev. ed. 304p. bibliog. charts. diags. further reading. glossary. illus. index. maps. photos. websites. National Geographic. 2012. Tr $24.95. ISBN 978-1-4263-1022-5; PLB $33.90. ISBN 978-1-4263-1023-2.
Gr 3–6—Covering the animal kingdom in a 304-page book is no easy task; the recorded number of species and sub-species is mind boggling, as well as in constant flux (as extinction takes away, conservation and discovery replenish). This update of the 2000 edition offers more than double the content. It crams in useful fast facts about at least 2500 animals, while easing the information overload with "Field Reports" on high-interest animals and some rather spectacular whole-spread photographs. Before the title dives into the different classes of the animal kingdom, an introductory chapter discusses life cycles and young, senses and communication, migration, homes and habitats, and adaptations for survival. Information about the endangered status of some species and about conservation efforts is also included. Because the book aims to represent as much animal diversity as possible, entries are not listed alphabetically but by animal group within the larger class. Users seeking a specific animal will be reliant on the index to discover whether the animal they want is included or not. Side boxes tend to get buried among the entries, but since the encyclopedia is designed for browsing and discovery, that is a minor issue. The decision to use photographs instead of illustrations, which make up the bulk of the previous edition, adds to the vibrancy of this volume. An excellent addition to school and public libraries alike, for both reference and circulation.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

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