The Smithsonian Institute, the world’s largest museum and research complex, has put together a series of Smithsonian Readers for young children. This is a beautiful hard bound book series that is designed to grow with your child. As a reader moves through the series the reading level goes up with more words on each page and the content becomes more in depth with increasingly challenging vocabulary.
Smithsonian Readers are designed to support reading skills as well as inspire children to learn about things in the world around them. Level 1 Early Adventures has big bright pictures of animals, different vehicles and planets with short descriptions in large clear print. When moving on to Level 2 Seriously Amazing the book follows the builds on the concepts of animals and space but adds information on the human body and how it works. Level 3 World of Wonder does the same, builds on animal and space concepts but adds weather, Ancient Egypt and a beautiful chapter describing the American landscape. When a child reaches Level 4 Endless Exploration the book continues to expand more on animal life but moves into Space Exploration, natural disasters, and the World Wonders.
For young readers, I appreciate that the books are set up as research books. There is a contents page at the beginning of the book so they can look up facts later and each chapter ends with its own glossary page and pull-out information cards. The glossary page is great after they have read the book and ask me what a word means, I can simply tell them to go look it up. I enjoyed the quizzes at the end of each chapter. I go over the quizzes with my kids to see if they were understanding what they read correctly.
The quality of the pictures and content of the Smithsonian Readers are well worth the price. With three kids I know these books are going to be read hundreds of time. I already find the kids taking them to bed with them and in the car. The best part is when the kids shoot out little facts that they have learned from the books to make connections in real life; I think they even impress themselves sometimes. This collection will greatly expand any child’s view of the world around them!
- – Smithsonian Readers Books are available on Amazon