The world of publishing is a gigantic one with many choices and specialties for all types of readers. When it comes to nonfiction offerings, especially information books for children, there is one specific publisher that is consistently renowned for quality and scope. DK Publishing won my love many years ago, and as a parent of three children from toddler to older elementary school aged, I regularly seek out DK titles for my kids’ reading and browsing pleasure.

Three recently released titles have especially caught my interest, and being not terribly science-oriented myself, I appreciate what these three books can offer my children in education and experiences. For my youngest two, I’m really looking forward to conducting some of the experiments in I’m a Scientist: Kitchen. The way I look at it, these are absolutely perfect projects that provide hands-on experiences for young children to introduce and reinforce some basic scientific concepts, from magnetism to density, oxidation to conduction. In typical DK fashion, these pages are filled with bright photographs, and the layout of each two page spread clearly shows each experiment’s necessary materials and numbered steps, along with a fold-out flap that gives a simple explanation of the concepts addressed.

Just one look at the cover of Nature Explorer and I was immediately wowed. Seriously, look at that amazing caterpillar! Admittedly, I am frequently wowed by the wonders of the insect world, and the section of this book titled “Bug Hunter” is by far my favorite. The fun certainly doesn’t stop with bugs, though, as birds, space, rocks and fossils, weather, and animals and plants have their own respective sections as well. Again, the incredible photographs show off close-up details that invite examination, and the wealth of information provided has kept me poking my husband with constant “Listen to this!” read-alouds. All three of my children have spent significant time with this book, with my youngest two expressing their own amazement at the pictures and my oldest getting just as excited as his mom by the interesting facts.

Okay, remember how I said that I was not so much a science-oriented gal? Well, please keep that in mind as I try to describe The Big Idea Science Book, because I have a feeling that my limited understanding is going to be pretty darn obvious. Comprehensive is the first word that comes to mind to describe this book that has quickly become my husband’s favorite book to browse. Starting with the premise of “24 Big Ideas of Science,” the three sections of the book present information about life science, earth science and physical science, with an easy reference back to the specific “Big Ideas” that are included on each two page spread. The topics introduced are so extremely wide ranging and diverse it seems silly to only mention a few, but it should come as no surprise that the animal and insect sections interested me, and I was impressed with the depth of information provided. DK recommends this book for ages 8-17, but I’m pretty sure that we’re not the only parents who would be just as eager to have a turn with it!

DK absolutely knows science, and they are generously offering a copy of each of these science books- I’m a Scientist: Kitchen, Nature Explorer, and The Big Idea Science Book- to one lucky winner. You can enter by leaving a comment here (U.S. residents only, please), and we’ll announce our winner on 8/30.

The winners of our last book giveaway for the novel Long Division are #10 Carolyn and #15 Annette W.

The giveaway for the School Days memory book is still open, and check out 5 Minutes for Books today for a special back to school giveaway including a $50 gift card and a Scholastic Children’s Dictionary.

Disclosure: I received a copy of each of these books for review purposes.

When book blogger Dawn’s not catching bugs with the kids or reading about them in books, she can often be found blogging at my thoughts exactly.

Email Author    |    Website About 5 Minutes for Books

5 Minutes for Books is the 5 Minutes for Mom sister site devoted to reviewing books for adults -- fiction, memoir, and nonfiction -- and kids of all ages. Managed by Jennifer Donovan, other contributors are Dawn, Lauren, Nancy, and Elizabeth. Follow us @5M4B on twitter and subscribe to our feed or like us on Facebook so you don't miss a thing!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 noreen August 16, 2010 at 1:49 am

I love science and sharing that with my girls


2 Katie August 16, 2010 at 9:04 am

My kids love doing science (and so do I)!


3 everydayMOM August 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

Wow! Those books sound awesome! I would love to have all three of them!


4 Jenny August 16, 2010 at 9:47 am

Those look like great books…I know my boys would love to get into them!


5 Sarah - PS Mom Reviews August 16, 2010 at 9:48 am

Love Science books that make it fun for kids.


6 nan lara August 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

these sound great
nannypanpan at


7 Alison S. August 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm

These look like fun books. Please enter me.


8 Debbie R. August 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I am always looking for ways to make science learning and fun for my son.


9 Steph August 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm

We are just getting into Science in school. My 1st grader and Kindergartener would enjoy learning more about Science and these books would help me guide them in a fun way. :)


10 Amy August 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I think I could use these!


11 Lawanna August 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm

DK books are GREAT! These would make a great addition to our family library.


12 Melissa S August 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

My oldest son LOVES science!


13 Erin Pyle August 17, 2010 at 5:44 am

These books are so neat! My son and I would love them!


14 Mia August 17, 2010 at 7:29 am

Squeeeee – my son would soooo enjoy these books!


15 Angie August 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

My son definitely needs these books! he’s so into science and learning, I know he would appreciate these!


16 Rita August 17, 2010 at 9:04 am

These science books sound and look amazing! Great learning springboards for grandma and grandkids!


17 Liz August 17, 2010 at 11:44 am

The Big Idea book looks great.


18 Sarah August 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

So excited to check our these books


19 LaVonne August 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm

We’d love these books :) They sound great.


20 Staci A August 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm

What wonderful books! We love exploring nature and doing experiments to learn more about the things around us. I’d love to share these books with my son!


21 Kelly Ann T. August 18, 2010 at 1:07 am

I would enjoy these books as much as the kids. Thank you for the chance to win


22 Terra Heck August 18, 2010 at 5:25 am

These would make great educational books for my kids. Please count me in to win.


23 april yedinak August 18, 2010 at 8:08 am

I would love to get these for my son.


24 Nad August 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm

My little boy loves science!


25 katklaw777 August 19, 2010 at 7:50 am

I luv DK books…they are always well written and full of colorful pictures, thanks.


26 Carolyn August 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

My son would love these books!


27 Casey August 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm

My daughter and I would love to do some of these kitchen experiments together! Thanks.


28 Wendy M August 21, 2010 at 11:35 pm

My boys would love this.


29 Marj M. August 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

Book giveaways always have me squealing with delight. No better way to pass on information to children than with a love of books.


30 Brandy August 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

my kids would get so excited over these books, my hubby is a scientist and has been trying to teach them everything.


31 Anne August 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I love DK books! These would be great to win!


32 Jackie August 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Love DK for nonfiction books!! My 2 yo can’t get enough of the non-fiction!


33 Melissa P. August 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm

My 8 year old son loves Science. He uses his old train table as his Science Table/Lab. lol. He has all kinds of gizmos and gadgets and loves to mix food coloring, soap, and water in his plastic test tubes. lol. He would love these books. He just took out a bunch of Science books from the Library, too.


34 jamie August 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm

We would have a blast with these


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