C is for cactus, canals, Cape Horn, Caroll,Lewis, castles, cats, caves,cells, centaurs, chalk, cheese, chimpanzee, China, chocolate, circus, city, clothes, clowns, coal, codes, collections, Christopher Columbus, comets, computers, coral, cotton, cowboys, crickets, Crockett Davy, crocodiles, crows and crying. Volume 3 of The Young Children’s Encyclopedia covers these topics under C.

Cactus is explained in the form of a short story. A father and son were lost in the desert, and soon finish their water. With no water in sight the father lights up when he sees a barrel cactus. The father scoops out the fleshy interior of the cactus and squeezes the juice out of it. Rejuvenated they then find their way out of the desert.

The book then goes on to explain how cacti conserve water by having no leaves but high surface area. Short notes and illustrations to match, tell the young reader about the types of cactus. A parting note on how to take care of catus ends the feature on cactus.

Canals or the water road are covered next. Their history of canals is provided in a paragraph. Just how a canal works when it is built over a mountain or a hill is explained using a glass of water and a cork.A further article on the Panama Canal informs the reader about the long years of hard work that have gone into building this important canal.

The sixteEn volumes broken up alphabetically have been written and illustrated by multiple writers and artist. The typography is bold and large, never intimidating the young reader.

The articles are such that a child can be read the story say in the case of kindergartener, or learn it by themselves if they are older children.

The feature on corals is a classic example.

“How can a tiny sea creature make a wall big enough to wreck a ship? It does not the wall by itself- it has help from many other tiny coral creatures.Together they make this great seawall, or reef.

What is coral? Coral is a soft little animal that looks a little bit of jelly. And the hard, little shell houses that soft little animals live in are corals too.”

The text is set in pages of sea green, a ship wreck and a cross-sectional view of a coral reef. The text and the drawings combine in a way to give the child a complete picture of the concept.

Illustration and words blend in the Children's Encyclopedia

These hardbound volumes are an effective key to many hours of reading and learning. They build knowledge, vocabulary and a sense of understanding of the many natural and man-made things without being preachy or didatic.

This wonderful collection is a great tool for parents and teachers to read and explain as well. The hardcover is great for rough handling and multiple readings.Published by the Encyclopedia Britannica, the next step up is to visit the site Brittanica.com, where one can see contributor based projects and research further on a topic of interest. Corals are discussed in detail on the website. Video links, quizzes and lists of external resources are also available. The Young Children’s Encyclopedia is a great starting point of exploration.