Children’s Book Review: Animals by Design: Exploring Unique Creature Features

This children’s book is the third addition to the “Science for Kids” series, a family resource put out by the Institute for Creation Research. (Read about the first two books – featuring dinosaurs and space – here and here). The ICR is a research organization dedicated to uplifting the truth and authenticity of God’s Word. As a part of this mission, they offer tons of great books, DVDs, magazines, and other materials for anyone to read and watch. I received this book in return for a review, and am delighted to share my thoughts with you.

 

animals

Photo courtesy of the Institute for Creation Research

Once again, the Institute for Creation Research has produced a family-friendly resource that, although it is loaded with fantastic animal facts, ultimately focuses on the majesty, creativity, and complexity of our God. Each of the 110 or so pages will captivate and inform the reader about fascinating animal behaviors, genetic make-up, or awesome abilities. The information amuses, but the overall message of the book leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the diversity of God’s creation and his intelligent, purposeful design.

The illustrations were very warm and colorful; the style the illustrator used suits this book well, as each picture is simple but accurate. (Personally, I think that the color scheme and illustrations featured on the front cover of this book are the most captivating of the three books).

The reading level and tone of the book are appropriate for upper elementary to early middle school aged students. The text is written in a conversational, characteristic style that helps present the information in a laid-back and fun way. While older students could easily read through this book, younger students and even preschoolers will enjoy paging through it and looking at all the different animal illustrations.

Every page introduces a different animal or a specific animal feature, and provides information and explains how these diverse animal traits points to a Creator, and is not the result of evolution. A table of contents in provided, as well as a glossary, author tributes, and additional resources provided through the ICR.

As I read this book, I got immersed in the amazing creature facts and forgot that I was reading something geared for kids. For example, did you know that blue whales can sing so loudly that other whales can hear it across an ocean? Amazing! It’s facts like this one that really kept me hooked. And each page is just loaded with cool facts like that.

But it wasn’t the fact-packed pages that I appreciated most, but the way that, once I finished the book and set it down, I took a few moments to think about God: to try and wrap my head around the vastness of creation, it’s immense diversity, and it’s stunning complexity. All of that could only point to an almighty creator God. And any resource that could make me – or my family – take some time to appreciate God and focus on him, is worth having.

I am very thankful to have had this opportunity to read Animals and share an honest review with you. Thank you for reading it. If you’re looking for Christian-based science resources, or need a birthday gift idea, this is a good one. Visit the icr.org store to check out this book, the others in the series, and a handful of awesome creation resource items.

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