National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals

Last updated date: July 10, 2019

DWYM Score
9.2

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We looked at the top 1 Picture Books and dug through the reviews from 3 of the most popular review sites including Good Reads, New York Journal of Books, DOGO Books and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Picture Book you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 80 expert reviews, the National Geographic National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals placed 7th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 16, 2019:
Checkout The Best Picture Book for a detailed review of all the top picture books.

Expert Summarized Score
9.0
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
806 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Overall, this book is well developed, bringing many helpful textual and informational features to the younger age group, keeping them fascinated with animals and the world around them.
- New York Journal of Books
Child-friendly text explains how animal parents take care of their young, how baby animals change as they grow, and how they learn to hunt and eat. The brief text, large type, and appealing profiles are perfect for young readers to enjoy on their own, or for parents and other caregivers to read aloud.
- DOGO Books
What experts didn't like
The only quibble was that not all babies of the animals were shown, or all the names of what they were called. With majority of the animals in the book shown taking care of their young, and how the baby animals grow and change, this felt like a misstep in the text.
- New York Journal of Books

From The Manufacturer

Catherine D. Hughes is the author of several books in the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book series, including Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs, Little Kids First Big Book of Space, and Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean. She also has a degree in early childhood development.

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3. Drew Daywalt The Day the Crayons Quit
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4. Adam Rubin Dragons Love Tacos
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5. Adir Levy What Should Danny Do?
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6. Mo Willems Waiting Is Not Easy!
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8. Andrea Beaty Rosie Revere, Engineer
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10. Ashley Spires The Most Magnificent Thing
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An Overview On Picture Books

There is nothing like enjoying the fascination of a child when you read to them from a picture book. Whether you cozy up under a blanket on a couch or read by a flashlight in a tent, your audience is sure to find joy in reading their favorite picture book over and over again. Picture books are a great combination of beautiful art (art is in the eye of the beholder) and compelling prose. There are only a few things that a good picture book needs, and you will certainly know when you’ve found a good one!

As a reader and true appreciator of a picture book, you’ll automatically find several things that make you love a picture book. First is the story. There is nothing better than a good story, and if it is good, it will certainly stick in your mind and keep you wanting to read the same book time after time. Kids often hold on to stories that are relatable — like “Goodnight Moon,” which s a story of something  they can easily identify in the sky when they say goodnight.  On the other hand, picture books for young adults or teens might have a story of things that are out of this world and magical, such as “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated Edition.”

Next, readers and onlookers alike will find that when the words and the art perfectly complement each other, the picture book will be a winner. In “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt, you’ll find a kid-friendly storyline with child-like drawings for the pictures. This children’s book masters the playful give and take of the words with the pictures.

Lastly, the best picture books will yield that encore shouting from your little ones when you get to the end. That yearning for a reread is a surefire sign of a fantastic picture book. You will find that in “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin.

Find that fun reading time with your kiddos when you pull these awesome picture books off the bookshelf, and snuggle in for some quality time with them.

DYWM Fun Fact

The first children’s book with illustrations was “Orbis Sensualium Pictus” or “The World of Things Obvious to the Senses Drawn in Pictures.” It was written in 1658 by John Comenius, a Czech native. He wrote it in Latin, but with excellent drawings throughout of the most common things known to man, from animals to insects, scenery and even breathe from a man’s mouth. It was quite popular and became implemented in some schools as well.

Although it was popular then, most homes do not contain a copy of this book for their children. Research from 2001 shows that “The Poky Little Puppy” by Janette Sebring Lowrey was the number one selling picture book in history with over 14,800,000 copies sold (at that point). This book was atop a list with books by multiple famous authors such as Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling and Beatrix Potter.

The Picture Book Buying Guide

  • One thing to keep in mind when buying a good picture book is your audience. Do your kids like a specific topic such as animals, vehicles or insects? And always keep their age in mind as you look for a good picture book.
  • Read the book summary before buying it to give you an idea of the story, and flip through the pages to check out the art.
  • Look for reviews from other readers.
  • Use your best resources: family and friends’ suggestions.
  • Make a visit to your local library and ask a librarian for suggestions. If your kiddo loves a book you read from the library, you can buy it to add to your child’s personal library. 
  • Interactive picture books are a fantastic way to get children to love picture books. Even if the book doesn’t have flaps or touch-and-feel features, you can make a book interactive by asking the child to find a hidden object or dance like the characters in the book. Make it fun for them so they want to read the book again.