What could be better than a series of books that will keep kiddos occupied for long stretches and educate them? Not much. Which is why Peter and Linda Spizzirri have written and illustrated these informative Educational Read & Color Books that illuminate a variety of topics, from airplanes to underwater life to dolls to the American Pilgrims.
Pictures are detailed without being impossibly difficult (kids can use crayons or colored pencils), and the text is fun and easy to read. Topics are family-friendly, and you won't find a lot to disagree with—the authors mostly stay away from naturalistic or evolution-based commentary, opting instead for established facts about animals, planets, etc.
There aren't near as many of these as there are Dover Coloring Books, nor are they as detailed, which are actually both good reasons for starting your kids on these rather than Dover's series. Kids won't get as frustrated coloring the simpler images, and the fact that there's a limited number of titles means you won't have too much trouble getting them to pick out the next one.
Coloring books are an excellent way to help develop fine motor skills, prepare students for penmanship practice, introduce basic art principles and activities, and provide entertainment that isn't TV- or computer-based. The Spizzirri Press books are some of the best we've seen, and include the added benefit of explicitly educational text. Who knows: you might end up coloring and learning beside your youngsters!
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.