Mysteries of the Grand Canyon iBook by Marie von Minden – Review

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon is the first iBook in the series Kristi Kay Discovers Our National Parks by Marie von Minden. Kristi Kay is a Cairn Terrier who travels around the USA with her owner Marie and visits many of the National Parks. This iBook is the story of her visit to the Grand Canyon; as well as the story it also includes an introductory video narrated by the author, and a ‘Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger” section which provides a lot more factual information about the National Parks, the Grand Canyon and it’s wildlife. The iBook is child-friendly with no adverts, in-app purchases or social media links.

Although Kristi Kay is the star of the story she shares the spotlight with two other animals- Alex a California Condor and Gerri an Abert’s Squirrel. The story is illustrated with beautiful nature photographs showing the and canyon and it’s flora and fauna. The story is not narrated, so is best suited to children in second grade or above, or may be enjoyed by slightly younger children if it is read to them.

In the story Kristi Kay spends several days camping on the rim of the crater with her owner, but dreams of exploring the canyon itself off-leash and free. On their last day her owner hikes deep into the canyon where dogs are not allowed, and Kristi Kay is left alone in camp. Her dream come true when Alex and Gerri take her on a secret trail into the canyon. During her hike the terrier learns about the geology and history of the canyon, about California Condors and the captive breeding program that brought them back from the brink of extinction and about Abert’s and Kaibab Squirrels. She also learns about safe hiking and the importance of passing history and traditions from generation to generation. Some pages contain interactive elements such as animal noises or areas to tap to access more photographs.

Kristi Kay’s adventure is a fun way to introduce elementary school children to the Grand Canyon going beyond its spectacular beauty to learn a little about its geology, the Native American’s who once lived there, and the animals who live there now. The “Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger” section provides a lot more in-depth information to children who want to learn more, and includes many photographs and videos. The iBook has almost 100 pages, but my soon-to-be Fourth Grader devoured it in one sitting. He thoroughly enjoyed it but did recommend reading it over several sessions (especially the Ranger section) as his head was swimming from so much information by the end!

Overall, this iBook provides a great introduction to the Grand Canyon to children who are about to visit it or who just want to learn more about this important National Park. It includes lots of beautiful photographs, the story is engaging and there is a huge wealth of information included. I found it a great opportunity to talk about the Grand Canyon with my son, and tell him about my own experiences visiting the park and hiking into the crater. I also really enjoyed learning about the California Condor and all the effort that has gone into the Recovery Program; it provided a great opportunity to talk about Endangered Species and our responsibility to help preserve them. The one change I would like to see in a future update is an option to hide the text after reading, so you can see all of the the pictures that are partially hidden by text (the photographs on the non-text pages are beautiful).

If you would like to download this iBook please use this link : Mysteries of the Grand Canyon – Marie von Minden

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon
Mysteries of the Grand Canyon
by Marie von Minden
Category: Animals, Books, Young Adult, Fiction, Travel & Adventure, Arts & Entertainment, Art, Science & Nature, Social Studies, Arts & Entertainment, Photography, Specialty Travel, Science & Nature, Nature, United States
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 389.84 MB

N.B. This is an iBook and can only be viewed on an iPad using iBooks 2 or later. A free sample of the book can be downloaded from iTunes

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.