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Amazon's website says:
"Blast off with the Angry Birds as they fly through space on an intergalactic rescue mission! Evil space piggies have stolen their eggs and are hiding them somewhere in outer space. To save them, the Angry Birds have teamed up with National Geographic to learn all they can about planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and the mysteries of the universe."
This caught my interest right away. My children both love Angry Birds, and have an interest in space as well. I love the idea of using favourite children's characters to make learning more fun. and despite a few recent disappointments, I've always thought quite highly of National Geographic as well. My son walked by, saw the screen, and right away requested this and soon both boys were asking if this could be their next book. Unfortunately - it was only available for pre order so we had to wait awhile. As soon as it was released, and I earned a dooyoo voucher I ordered this as surprise and both boys were absolutely delighted to find this in the post - but the book didn't quite live up their initial expectations.
The first page sounded brilliant "In Space No One Can Hear You Squeal!". I had already seen this on Amazon's preview and this was another deciding factor when I bought the book. It gives a brief story of strange ice cube shaped bird, a glowing egg, thieving pigs and a strange vortex which has taken the birds eggs all away. The book tells us the birds will have to learn everything they can about space to save the eggs.
So far this all sounded very good - and before ordering this I imagined a storyline where the birds hunt through space for their eggs picking up clues and learning as they go along - or perhaps even better - space pictures with hidden eggs for children to find and clues to follow. Perhaps I imagined too much - but we do have a number of super hero / science books where the super heroes have a minimal role, but still keep the book exciting.
What follows is simply a book about space. The Angry Birds really do not feature at all. Some pages have an angry bird picture pasted over the space picture - a few even have a comment - which really does not add a great deal to the book. There is no story, there are no eggs to find the angry birds seem a bbit out of place. The better pages have nothing of the Angry Birds at all. This really could have been a brilliant book but it seems as if no effort was put into making the birds fit into the rest of the book at all.
That said - this isn't really a bad book - it is actually brilliant as a beginners book of space. It's just so-so as an Angry Birds Book. We didn't really need another Space Book we have some very good ones from Usborne, DK and Kingfisher. I bought this only for the Angry Birds tie in and that was a mistake. This book has some lovely photos and plenty of facts about space in a clear and easy to understand format. My children do enjoy many ordinary space Books, so even though this was a washout as far as Angry Birds was concerned - I did expect it to get some use. Sadly , the children seem so dissapointed by the lack of Angry Birds, they don't even want to look at this. This book is only £5.99 now, but I'm certain it was more when first released. In fact I am thinking near £8.For this price I expected more. f.
I do still think this book has value, and hopefully my sons will warm up to it eventually. If not is still has some value in our house as part of our science curriculum. It has information on each planet in the solar system, the sun, the moon, the space station and Mars rover, dwarf planets, stars, nebulae, black holes, the Milky Way and more. As an adult I could still enjoy reading this and learn some things. It is very well written, and does contain information many of our other books do not. In fact I might go so far as to say this the most detailed book we own on space. Had this been printed without the Angry Birds, I would certainly have given this 5 stars, despite being bound like a magazine rather than a book. As it is, I feel a children's character was used as a gimmick to exploit the buyer. I can't say I particularly like feeling conned, and that is just what I felt when I received this book. I am still giving it 3 stars, the photos and information do deserve that - but I won't be so quick to buy National Geographic products in the future.
Recommended if you are looking for a good, detailed book about space, with a bit more facts than the standard child's book, and don't mind a few Angry Birds pasted over otherwise stunning photography. Not recommended if you are looking for a book about Angry Birds specifically.
UPDATE: I originally reviewed this over a year ago and gave it only 3 stars. The boys were disappointed due to the lack of Angry Birds content and it didn't get much use at first. However, it has been used since, and we have ended up buying an additional 5 books in this series so it can't be too bad. The book is very educational, and now that they know what to expect from the book they are able to enjoy it as a space book - with a limited amount of Angry Birds extras. It does seem to have grown on us and they have certainly learned some things through reading this. And while the Angry Birds still seem a bit out of place, they do enjoy the addition of the Angry Birds pictures and often enjoy reading a number of these books together. I still would recommend this book only for someone with a genuine interest in Space though, not just for any child who enjoys Angry Birds.