This big, bright and photo-packed gift-worthy book digs into the details behind our planet’s most magnificent marvels, epic extremes, and astonishing animals. . Did you know that dogs can shake off a pound of water in less than a second? That some sand dunes whistle and sing? That the U.S. dollar bill is full of hidden symbols related to the number 13? Our world is filled with strange, bizarre, and weird happenings. But what do they mean? WHY are they important? And what secrets are behind them? These stories and much more are revealed through cool stories, action-packed photos, fantastic infographics, and exciting Q&As with in-the-field experts. Discover the secrets of sharkskin, the mysteries behind incredible island animals, the power behind lightning, how a rare gemstone changes color, and more. Kids will be captivated by this fresh way of looking at our amazing planet.

MY TAKE: Wow! The 192 pages are packed with amazing pictures accompanying each of the facts. Arranged in nine different categories you can start anywhere or read it straight through like I did. Check out these enticing chapters:






THE COOLEST STUFF ON EARTH often has to be turned sideways to catch every image. The facts will have young readers shaking their heads, laughing at times, and of course sharing every detail to friends and family.

The large hardback would be a popular addition to any room in the house or apartment. It would also make a very special gift.

You’ll feel a lot smarter after reading and doing so will break a few long standing beliefs. My thinking has been changed as to why giraffes have long necks—and it’s not what you think!

I’d recommend this one from ages 8 on up to triple digits. Truly a special book for everyone to enjoy.


Blogging about middle grade books or authors next week? Join the celebration.

All you have to do is blog about a middle grade book on a Monday (contests, author interviews, or anything middle grade related also count). Email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com
Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and please don’t forget to say what book or author you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.
Thanks for spreading the middle grade love and for being a part of this awesome tradition begun by Shannon Messenger and carried on here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE! (CLICK HERE FOR PAST MMGM POSTS)
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Susan Wroble says:

    Sounds like a winner! Will get this one for the kids (and some of the adults) in my life!

  2. danielle hammelef says:

    I really enjoy books like this. Nature photography is my favorite.

  3. petespringerauthor says:

    As someone who taught in grades 2-6 for thirty-one years, these National Geographic kids’ books were some of the most popular ones in my classroom.

  4. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Sounds Very COOL!

  5. You know I love the NatGeoKids books. This one looks great. Thanks for the post.

  6. Kids will adore the facts. Can’t wait to begin sharing with my greats. This one is my Kind of book! Did they say anything about the President’s book of secrets. Watched National Treasures again the other night – fresh on my mind. 🙂

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