As I have said before, Z is a big fan of animals and I have my degree in zoology. In our house, there are two books that are big go-tos for our animal learning. Tonight we had to find pictures of whale sharks (the world's largest fish) and blue whales (the world's largest mammal) to find out just how big they can get.
The first is the National Geographic Encyclopedia of Animals. Z got this for Christmas from his grandparents in 1996 when he was 2! This is a smaller book but has a lot of great information and, of course, the photography is amazing. It also has a lot of correct animal drawings which I think are important for kids to see because scientists don't always have a photograph to go from when they are trying to identify an animal. It's about 250 pages so it's not totally in depth but just right for a curious kid.
The second book that we go to is much larger -- the 600 page Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. This book is put out by the Smithsonian Institute and Z can barely lift it. He got this one for his third birthday. It has many more specific species examples listed and good sections on habitats and zoology topics like evolution, anatomy and behavior. There are fantastic large action photographs and good location maps for the species. We love animals!
Swimming, leaping and growling,
K and Z
Buy Encyclopedia of Animals and Animal on Amazon or find them at your local library.