Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Seven Natural Wonders of the World by Raymond Coutu

Everyone has heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but there are more than just seven these days. In addition to the original Seven Wonders, there are now several categories of "Seven Wonders of the World". They are broken down into the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World" and "Seven Natural Wonders of the World". While the other Seven Wonders change with time, the Seven Natural Wonders aren't going to change.

This book describes and profiles all seven natural wonders of the World- sights and places that have entranced humans ever since they were discovered, and describes how they were formed, and found by humans and even first explored, along with information about how the wonder is viewed by the people who live near or in and around it.

Two countries share the distinction of having two Natural Wonders each- The United States, and Australia, while the others are scattered across Europe, Asia and Africa- one to each continent. So, you may be wondering, what are they?

The Natural Wonders of the World are The Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, The Matterhorn, Mount Everest, Victoria Falls, Ayers Rock and The Great Barrier Reef. Each section contains many pictures and explains why each Wonder is important (like the Great Barrier Reef's Diversity of Species), and gives the History of how each Wonder got its name and why it's considered a wonder (for example, Mount Everest is the world's tallest mountain and the highest point on Earth. The Matterhorn is only half as tall, but is noted for its extreme beauty.)

This book covers each of the Natural Wonders in extensive detail, including how each was formed and their discovery by Europeans (even the section on Ayers Rock mentions that Aborigines knew of Ayers Rock for many, many years before any Europeans did). It's a nice overview that explains the sites and why they are considered Natural Wonders.

This is a very nice book for kids wanting to see and know more about the Natural Wonders of the world. This book is short, but the multiplicity of pictures and the nice amount of information allow kids to get a good idea about each wonder, and can serve as a springboard to finding out more information on each one.

Difficult word concepts are explained at the back of the book, and the book itself is good for second through fifth graders, and maybe even a bit beyond. The wonders it covers are fascinating in and of themselves, and the written information is sure to incite more exploration of not only the Natural Wonders, but also other wonders of the world as well.

This book is recommended for kids of late elementary school. It will probably be too short and simple to attract the interest of older kids, but can still spark their learning. Well-written and researched, and highly recommended.

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