by Lucy Spellman
National Geographic, 2012. 302 pgs. Nonfiction.
Twenty-five thousand animals on 302 pages doesn't allow for a lot of room or time to be spent on each animal, but National Geographic certainly makes the most of the space available. Besides, all encyclopedias are springboards, are they not? A little knowledge leading to a greater quest. Gorgeous photos, as you might expect, fill these pages, along with boxed blurbs about a multitude of creatures which give the common name of each animal, its scientific name, its range, size, and diet. A brief but telling array of facts follows. The Guinness World Records crowd will enjoy the animals' records: baddest bird (ostrich), record-holding record holder (blue whale), etc. Or, you could just look at the pictures. National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia is a treasure for children and their oldsters. I want my own copy, but we have one here if you'd like to borrow it.