National Geographic Kids is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their Almanac this year and the upcoming edition celebrates this in a big way! National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020 still uses the same eleven themed sections to give kids a well rounded current view of the world around them, but also pauses along the way to look back at things that have changed since the 2010 edition. Some of the readers may even be younger than the first edition, which will surely make the readers feel like the topics referenced happened a long time ago.
The first section is “Your World 2020,” which takes a few liberties about things that will be relevant in the year 2020 as we can’t know for sure exactly what the year will have in store. It stays focused on some things that feel guaranteed, such as the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and holidays that will take place.
My favorite section is “Amazing Animals,” which reveals some inspiring stories of animals that help humans in addition to some rare and exotic breeds and new species discovered. Dinosaur lovers will find them in this section too, including some new dinos discovered since the last edition.
“Science and Technology” and “Going Green” are two sections that made me feel like I was spending a day in Future World at Epcot. Kids will learn about some new and developing technologies and ways these new innovations could help change the world. They will also learn more about sustainable living and some cool prototype ways of living that may become standard someday. Keeping the Epcot theme alive, “Culture Connection” is like a walk around World Showcase with some fun facts and articles about the way people live all over the world. Jump to the end to the “Geography Rocks” section to expand on these topics with maps and descriptions of each country.
“Space and Earth” has some cool facts about other planets and the things that make Earth so unique. I was particularly fascinated with new theories on a hidden planet in our solar system that’s yet to be seen by telescopes. “Awesome Exploration” focuses on some really incredible explorers. There is also a page called “Earth Explorer” at the start of each section that introduces a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and the work they’re doing related to that topic.
“Wonders of Nature” features some cool facts about weather and climate change, while “History Happens” provides some recent historical updates on things like the Sphinx, Titanic, and the Terra-Cotta Warriors. This section also includes information on every U.S. President, while the final section, “Geography Rocks,” talks about both the political and geographic world.
The middle section is called “Fun & Games” with comics, jokes, and activities that are all fun-based. The end of each section also features some quizzes, fun activities, and homework help for kids who have to write papers on similar topics. While the tone of the book is more fun and edutainment based, it can certainly be used as a learning resource.
This was my second time reading a NatGeo Kids Almanac and I’ve really enjoyed both. As a kid, I had a tendency to resist books my parents bought me that seemed obviously academic. But because the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020 features so many diverse topics and puts animals front and center, I feel like I would have been much more likely to read this on my own without a parental mandate. Now that school is out, it’s a perfect way to keep your kids engaged in learning about the world around them.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.