I can’t believe school is in next week. Where did the summer go? While my eight year old is ready to head back to class, I am not quite as ready to acknowledge summer is rapidly drawing to a close.

It’s not like we haven’t packed the summer with all sorts of fun – two vacations and a number mini road trips – as well as learning, albeit not the way I intended to structure it when I envisioned summer learning in June.

I had hoped to do some school work in the summer – writing and reading. We got the reading in, of course, but didn’t earmark it for the morning, just picked up books we thought were interesting including DK Smithsonian Children’s Illustrated Animal Atlas ($20.99) .

What I liked about this atlas is that it featured not only maps of Australia, for example, but also animal habitats such as the Savanna. I also liked whatever page we flipped to and read about, we seemed to have either read about or seen an animal featured in the book in some other aspect of our life.

For example, my son loves the Zac Power series about a 12-year-old government spy. The most recent book found Zac in the Savanna and we learned the same facts about the rhinoceros in the fiction book as we did in the atlas. We also saw a tomato frog in an aquarium at an event where Zoo to You was set up, and read more about the creature that hails from Madagascar in this book.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that there is a mix of illustrated and photographs of creatures in this book. Despite the name, I would have liked illustrated maps and more photos of the amazing wildlife found on our planet.

Are you excited for school to be back in?

A copy of this book was provided by DK Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.