By Barry Janoff
September 12, 2013: With school back in session, and the holidays looming, parents across the country are looking for ways to boost the quality of their kids' education while enhancing the joy of their gift-giving.
Enter The World Almanac for Kids (World Almanac Books).
The 2014 edition has more than 330 pages of information kids need and fun stuff they love.
It also is one of the few places in print where you can find LeBron James' NBA stats near pertinent information of each of the Presidents of the United States; a list of the top music stars as well as details about planets and stars; and a history of transportation, national parks and the smallest creatures in nature neighboring a detailed list of the top events in sports, entertainment, politics and world happenings that kids (and their parents) need to know for 2014.
Fun graphics and full-blown color photos and maps make even studying the history of nations and geography more stimulating.
Of course, kids may gravitate to the sections on baseball, football and soccer or movies and entertainers before they hit weights & measures or homework help. Ultimately, the key is to get kids reading, learning and enjoying the challenge of discovery, which The World Almanac for Kids does.
(Full disclosure: My two daughters took a review copy to show kids in their third grade classes and had trouble getting the book away from their friends.)
Among my favorite pieces of information in the book:
• The National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest is held annually in Vermont.
• A detailed breakdown of the numbers, symbols, pictures and hidden information on a $1 bill.
• Interesting facts about First Ladies (Martha Washington was a wealthy widow when she married George).
• Top Ten nations with the largest armed forces (China leads the U.S. by 2-to-1).
• A list of the most popular sports played by students in high school (Boys: football, track & field, basketball; Girls: track & field, basketball, volleyball).
The book also contains puzzles, games, activities and other sticky goodies for kids (and parents).
The World Almanac for Kids has been published since 1996 and has sold more than three million copies. Schools can also order The World Almanac for Kids Classroom Kit, which includes one hardcover edition and 20 paperback copies. (Details here.)
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