National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide, U.S.A.

National Geographic Kids National Parks Guide, U.S.A. 160p. charts. diags. further reading. glossary. illus. index. maps. photos. websites. National Geographic. 2012. pap. $14.95. ISBN 978-1-4263-0931-1; PLB $21.90. ISBN 978-1-4263-0932-8. LC 2011034235.
Gr 3–6—More selective than the National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States (7th ed., 2012) but also easier to carry and read, this invitingly colorful and enthusiastically written vacationers' guide provides basic information on attractions and family activities in 24 national parks. Each of the regionally grouped entries includes a quick historical overview and fact box, a cleanly designed map of major features both natural and constructed, and safety advice. The entries also include checklists of general suggestions ("Pedal around Shark Valley or the Snake Bight Trail" in the Everglades, for instance), and brief descriptions with thumbnail photos of local wildlife, landmarks, and tours or other group activities. Shorter entries between each section and at the end add enticing notes on dozens of smaller National Park properties in each state. Every entry for park or property includes an official URL, and a closing list offers links to more detailed information about the National Park Trust, the Junior Ranger program, and park geology and wildlife. Along with capturing the distinctive characters of the chosen sites, from Arkansas's tiny Hot Springs (5500 acres) to Alaska's six-million-plus-acre Denali National Park and Preserve, the author supplies just the right mix of background facts and promises of wonders to leave readers—both armchair travelers and the more active sort—hot to trot.—John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York

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