Kids Book Review: DK Readers & Books Giveaway ~ CAN 08/25

| August 8, 2013 | 46 Comments

I love reading, and I love sharing my love of reading with my kids.  I received a selection from each level of a series of early reading books from DK Canada. They are under to title of DK Readers.  I sat down with my younger children, as they would appreciate them more than my oldest one would.  Here is what I thought about the books I received.  The opinions I am sharing about these books are my own, and are not those of Ottawa Mommy Club.

There are four levels of reading in this series of early reading books: Pre-level 1 (for kids just learning to read), Level 1 (for kids beginning to read), Level 2 (for kids who are starting to read alone), and Level 3 (for kids who read well without assistance).  I like how there are different levels of books so your child can grow along with this series of books.  As well, there are various topics within each of the levels of this series touches upon, so there is a variety of books in each level that parents and their children can choose from and enjoy reading.  The titles of each book I received were as follows: Petting Zoo (Pre-level 1); Born to Be a Butterfly (Level 1); The Great Migration (Level 2); and The Story of Chocolate (Level 3).

Petting Zoo (no author was listed) shows children enjoying and learning about different animals around a petting zoo.  The children are handling the various animals or insect highlighted in the animals’ environments.  For each creature, the reader points out features to help kids learn more about its different parts, or the difference between an adult or child version of a specific creature.  For each creature presented in the book, they also show different types of that creature at the bottom of the page, so the reader can see the different versions of that featured creature.  I liked this book because it was easy for my daughter to understand the story, and she really enjoyed seeing all of the animals.  Here is my youngest daughter reading this book with me as she sits in my lap.

DK Readers - Petting Zoo 2        DK Readers - Petting Zoo 1

Born to Be a Butterfly by Karen Wallace tells the tale of a butterfly from being laid as an egg,  to becoming a parent and creating a new generation of its own.  The pictures really help to illustrate the story for the young readers, and keeping them, as well as their older reading helpers, focused on the story.  The information boxes in this book gives children a better sense of some of the parts of the butterfly, or the stages it goes through throughout its life cycle.  My favourite part of this book had to be the story itself.  For me, the story made me flashback and think about what I was like at different stages of my life.

The Great Migration by Deborah Lock takes young readers on the trail many grazing animals have to make every year in order to survive in the Serengeti and the Masai Mara in East Africa.  This book mostly features the wildebeests that make this dangerous trek every year.   The information boxes at this level are even more detailed than at the previous level, giving young readers more information about what is happening throughout the story, maps along the journey of these animals, and definitions to some of the terms used by the author.  Besides the amazing photography used to illustrate this journey, the information boxes were my favourite part of this book because they helped us get a better picture of what these grazing animals face during their perilous trip.

My favourite reader out the group I received had to be The Story of Chocolate by C. J. Polin.  It combines two of my favourite things: history and chocolate, though, how Polin tells this story was a real learning experience.  Polin tells young readers how chocolate is made, and the history of chocolate, from its discovery in Mesoamerica to how it is consumed by people today.  This reader used photos of illustrations as well as real photos to guide readers through the discovery of chocolate, as well as its evolution over the centuries. Unlike in the other levels of this series of readers, the reader is broken up into different sections, so the reader can follow this story easily.  As well, the pronunciation of certain terms are spelled out for young readers, so they learn how to say and read these new words.  This book was such a great read.  I have to confess, I read it a few times by myself because I enjoyed it so much.  I have to say, again, the information boxes was our favourite part of this reader because of details we were given were keeping us engaged in this story, and we were also learning along the way, too.  This picture is of me on one of my favourite pages.

DK Readers - The Story of Chocolate

One of the high points of each of the books I read was that on the front cover of each book was not only a full list of books for that particular reading level, but there was also a full list of books in the next level provided as well, just in case your child may be more proficient of a reader than you may have expected at first.  Lastly, as I’ve raved about throughout this review, the editors of this series decided to use amazing photography, or photos of illustrations, instead of just drawings to illustrate each of the books we read.  They really helped to bring the subject matter of each of the readers to life, and they made my daughter want to stay on certain pages because the photos were so vivid.

I do not have many complaints about this series. One of the aspects of this series I did not enjoy was the progression between the Pre-level 1 reader and the Level 1 reader.  For us, it seemed as though the jump between the two levels was much larger than the difficulty levels between the other higher levels in the series. We found that in the Pre-level 1 reader I read, the story was very simple, and repetitive.  In the Level 1 reader, we found the sentence structure was more difficult than I imagined it would be. We also felt there was also much more information given between the two first two levels versus what was provided between the more advanced levels.  I figured this might be due to the attention span the editors feel reading at the first level may have, or the amount of information they are able to take at this point of learning to read.  For us, this aspect took a bit to get used to, but we still enjoyed reading all of the books.

Overall, I would recommend this series of books to parents who want to help their children learn to read.  For each level, there are so many various topics to choose from, and each of the books I read was a fun read, so it kept my daughter’s fussy attention.  As I said before, the photos and extra information each of the books provide to its readers really helped my daughter and I want to stay on certain pages longer and enjoy the books longer.  So, if you are looking for a series to both educate and help your young ones on their love of reading, DK Readers are a great option along this path of discovery!


Enter to win these 4 books by DK Canada!


DK Publishing is the visionary publisher renowned for pioneering a distinctive, highly visual style in its books for adults and children. Founded in the UK in 1974 as Dorling Kindersley, the company started as a book packaging company and moved into publishing in 1982. Since then DK has been a worldwide market leader, with books published in 60 countries around the globe. Discover more at!

Summer Reading Adventures is a promotion for their leveled DK Readers titles ( they have over 150 of them ) that runs until August 15th.  When you buy 2 books you  get  1 Free! Free shipping on orders over $50!

To view their books or to order, please check their website!

Giveaway is open to Canadians 18+ . Prize is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of prizes is permitted.

DisclosureThe Ottawa Mommy Club did not receive compensation for this giveaway, and is not responsible for prize fulfillment and for the delivery/shipment of the prize(s) mentioned above.  DK Canada will directly ship the said prize to winner’s home. The winner has 48 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be drawn.

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Category: Books/Magazines, Giveaways Archived, Reviews, Thursday Reviews, Weekly Themes

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Comments (46)

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  1. Amy Heffernan says:

    I use to love the Sesame street collection books when i was small.

  2. Bailey-Eileen Dexter-parr says:

    My daughter loves the “Post man always rings twice”

  3. Can’t wait Willow is my daughter’s favorite.

  4. Jen says:

    Secret Garden

  5. mongupp says:

    I love the David series

  6. Darwin says:

    My son loves the gruffalo.

  7. Hal Jenner says:

    My grandkids love the Sandra Boynton books

  8. David Roy says:

    I love the Little Critters series, especially Just Go to Bed.

  9. Beth Gallinger says:

    Anne of Green Gables

  10. caryn s says:

    charlotte’s web was my favourite book!

  11. andie says:

    I love the Pigeon books by Mo Willems.

  12. jan says:

    corduroy is his fav

  13. Brie says:

    I Love you Forever is such a sweet book!

  14. Jen says:

    The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is a classic!

  15. sarah stickney says:

    anything by robert munsch

  16. Pam says:

    The Roald Dahl books were my favourites, especially James and the Giant Peach

  17. Debra G says:

    I like Dr. Seuss books.

  18. Monique L. S. says:

    Charlotte’s Web

  19. Emilia says:

    Where the Wild Things Are is a favourite of mine

  20. Nic says:

    The Hobbit (for older kids)

  21. michelle tremblett says:

    where the wild things are 🙂

  22. sandra says:

    little pea

  23. Maegan Morin says:

    The Place You’ll Go – Dr Seuss

  24. Lesley D. says:

    My kids & I love anything by Robert Munsch.

  25. Erika E says:

    My favourite is Runaway Pumpkin.

  26. Shari G says:

    Where the wild things are!

  27. Angela Mitchell says:

    I love the Secret World Of Og by Pierre Berton.

  28. angela m says:

    I love Charlottes web

  29. Laura11 says:

    My favourite kids’ book is Alligator Pie! It’s a book of poetry – I still have most of it memorized. 🙂

  30. Lauren says:

    I had Miss Rumphius growing up and now read it to my own children!

  31. Rene says:

    I loved The Best Nest as a kid! My daughter currently loves Smelly Socks!

  32. Jonnie says:

    Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

  33. Debbie P. says:

    The Wizard of Oz!

  34. Charmaine T says:

    I have 2 favourites Papa Do you love me? and I love you through & through

  35. Sunshine G says:

    Goodnight Moon is SUCH a classic.

  36. Florence C says:

    The Wizard of OZ

  37. Heidi C. says:

    Goodnight Moon is a definite favourite!

  38. Tara GAuthier says:

    I love Alligator baby by Robert Munsch

  39. Wendy hutton says:

    now I am aging myself but when I was a kid we loved SEE SPOT RUN series

  40. Toby says:

    Pokey Little Puppy was a hit!

  41. Toby says:

    DK Canada has such a wide selection for everyone!

  42. Lisa A. says:

    Love You Forever (and Lighthouse) by Robert Munsch.

  43. Donna says:

    Encyclopedia Brown

  44. Hilary says:

    I love the If you give a give a mouse a cookie series, so cute and really engages toddlers.

  45. Melissa Finn says:

    Anything by Robert Munsch

  46. 9er Domestic says:

    My favorite book was ‘I Love You Forever’.

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