01 April 2012
TOS Review - Amazing Animals by Design
My children and I have had the chance to review a new book put out by Debra Haagen, (who is also a fellow homeschool mom and military wife!), called Amazing Animals by Design.
Amazing Animals by Design is a children picture book that provides a Christian view to explain why certain animals have such different unique features..... for example, the back cover reads: "Why is a giraffe’s neck so tall? Why do zebras have stripes? Did all of these things happen by accident? When John and Sarah visit the zoo, they ask these questions and many more. Their parents and the zookeepers keep using the word design, but what does that mean? With its relevant message and exciting presentation, this is the perfect book to help introduce children to intelligent design."
I definitely have to agree with this synopsis. My children were engaged throughout the book and we all learned a lot (I'm really jealous of Debra's kids, and a bit embarrassed that I hadn't taken the time to consider all of the fascinating things that this book brings up to teach to my kids). I appreciate the way that Amazing Animals by Design introduces the concept of intelligent design... I also appreciate that it is a good mix of information. While I believe in creation, and that is what I teach my children, there are times when Christian based texts lack factually.... I was very pleased that this book was presented in a straight forward way that made sense.
The night before our first encounter with this book we had watched a documentary on penguins, and while reading this book my children started bringing up what features God had given them. It was great to see that they were making correlations with the information in the book without any prompting from me. As far as I was concerned I was just reading them a nice book about a brother and sister who go to the zoo together... what they got out of it was so much more than I had even hoped for. My children (to include my 6, 5, and 3 year old) were all able to tell me about the things they had learned... like why an elephant has a trunk and what would happen if it didn't, and about cheetah's and caracals (yah, I've seen caracals but I had know idea that they weren't like your typical "cats"! Who knew not all cats had great balance?)
I don't know that there's anything that I would change about Amazing Animals by Design, except to say that it should be made into a series. We would enjoy being able to read more about different animals through a story book and in a way that highlights the fact that God created all things for His purpose.
I think Amazing Animals by Design would be a great addition to any family's library... I reviewed an e-book version, so that was more difficult to just have the kids sit down with while I read, but you're really lucky because now the book is in print and can be purchased here for $8.99. (The e-book is also available for $7.99).
To see what other crew members think about this product please feel free to go here.
**As a member of The Old Schoolhouse homeschool crew team I was given this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review.**