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If you love learning facts and enjoy quiz books the books in this section will help grow your general knowledge. Most of the books have an extract available to download & a review to help you choose your next book and your next chosen subject!
A World Book Day 2022 Mini Book | Can you spot fact from fiction? Can you tell what’s news and what’s nonsense? This very, very, very, very, very, very, very silly book is FULL of mind-boggling true or false facts about animals, food, inventions, famous people, extraordinary places and much, much more! True or false? A man once ate an entire airplane. The first frisbees were overcooked pies. King Henry VIII had a special servant to take him to the loo. Grab a copy and find out the answers! Jam-packed with incredible facts and super-silly jokes from the king of comedy Matt Lucas, this book will have your laughing your socks off . . . while learning astonishing things about the world we live in!
From its attention-grabbing title to its lively, inclusive illustrations, this is a book which will instantly attract young readers to pick it up and, once opened, they will be completely engaged by this first-rate explanation of genetics. The concept of every individual thing having its own recipe is one that is firmly anchored in what young children can understand from their own lived experience and the facts are quite literally mind-boggling and certainly added to my own knowledge. It had (foolishly) never really occurred to me that we would have genetic links to plants or that a grain of rice could have more genes than a human being. Explaining about “bossy” dominant genes, and what genetic characteristics we share with other creatures and then what percentage we share (99 % with chimps of course) leads to an understanding of how alike we all are- we are 99.9% identical to every other human on earth and yet we are all uniquely ourselves. This is not just an important scientific concept beautifully explained, but, through words and images, it carries the message of understanding, empathy and tolerance for others. An essential addition to school and home libraries.
Who doesn’t wonder how their brain works? This book gives you a guided tour of the human brain (and some animal ones), explaining in brightly illustrated pages what the brain does, and how, demonstrating functions of the cerebellum, the brainstem, the cerebrum and the different lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital). The information is clearly presented via perfectly pitched text and illustration and is thoroughly engaging, accessible and stimulating. There are tests to try out yourself and ingenious representations of new scientific understanding of the brain. It finishes with a look into the future and what might be next for neuroscience and, having read this, lots of youngsters will be eager to keep learning more.
The big puzzle book is just what it says on the cover. 250 varied puzzles, quizzes and crosswords. It is set out in sections with a variety of activities within a theme; themes such as animals, history and transport. There is a good variety of topics and within each chapter there are word, picture and number puzzles, making it interesting and accessible, something for everyone. The book is not geared to a specific age group but the range of ability within the questions and puzzles covers a wide age range and ability levels. The book is a great size, easy to pick up and perfect for taking on a journey. The pages are laid out in a colourful and attractive way and the illustrations and instructions are bold and clear. I like that it is one in a series, and I would imagine that the other titles are equally fun and entertaining. A fun book to dip into and always good to have the answers at the back to check on. Definitely one for the Christmas stockings!
There are so many beautiful and interesting books about Earth, that you tend to think you have seen all the pictures, watched all the programmes, read all the books, but when you read this book, you will realise you haven’t even touched the sides. It is a wonderfully eye-popping book. Separated into different areas of the earth, and then sub divided into areas of interest, beauty, and fascination. It sparks an interest, like a free sample into a new experience. On each page there is just enough information to tempt you into finding out more through further reading and research, which as a learning tool in itself, is invaluable. The photography is superb, clear, vibrant and detailed. The whole book is packed with so much wonder. It makes you remember what a wonderful and partly unknown planet we live on, but also that however much we feel we have travelled, most of us haven’t really touched the surface. It made me feel rather ignorant of the world around me. The photography really is quite beautiful and it amazing to think that in over 200 pages, there is only a small boat on p59 and a lone house on p175. The anonymous photographers should be commended.
October 2021 Book of the Month | It’s a big world out there and when you’re little it’s difficult to know where to start. The World Book makes it easy. It's a fantastic resource for young minds to get their heads around the customs, symbols, histories and … well, identities of the 199 countries explored within. The Contents page is sub-titled “Where do you want to go today?”, and that’s just what you do - pick a country, head to the page, and within ten minutes you’ve very easily built an accurate picture of a faraway place that one day you may just be lucky enough to visit. You couldn’t give a book such a big title as this without making it a substantial thing to hold. The World Book doesn’t disappoint and is reminiscent of some of the hefty picture atlases that used to lie around my house when I was a kid. There is a little mapping but more helpful are the abundant colourful illustrations that portray each nation. Dig a little deeper and the detailed short paragraphs that zoom in on particular facts and figures provide substance to the uniqueness of the place. The book is very accessible and punchy and I particularly liked its sense of equality and the way in which it is not dominated by the bigger nations. Sierra Leone, for example, enjoys as much space as Greece, and there is as much to learn about Canada as there is the USA. The World Book is a triumph in how it neatly and simply explains the world - even to an oldie like me! It seems there are still countries out there I’ve never even heard of...
Fifty great Britons are celebrated in this book, people who have played an important part in these islands’ history, brought greater understanding, or simply entertained us. From Alfred the Great to Malala Yousafzai, it features a wonderfully varied set of subjects, but all of them have called Britain home. Their life stories are told across double pages, via accessible, information-packed text, often featuring those quirky memorable details that we all love, and equally lively colour illustrations. The biographies follow one another alphabetically by subject surname, rather than chronologically, the emphasis very much on personality and individual achievements. There’s a real sense of excitement, both for these people and for the way Britain has encouraged and welcomed the talented. Indeed, for that it brings to mind the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, high praise in our house. Lovely to see some top children’s authors feature too, including Malorie Blackman, and Judith Kerr. Highly recommended.
Following up their Blue Peter Award winning science information book A Day in the Life of a Poo, A Gnu and You, Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley take readers on a tour though history. Once again, they use ingenious, information-packed comic strips to bring the past alive for children. The first section looks at Ancient History, from early humans to the Romans, followed by tours through the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. There are three types of full colour entries too: Day in the Life strips give a snapshot of different points of history and are recounted by subjects such as a wheel in Mesopotamia, a Russian beard and – my favourite – a dead sheep, later to become the Magna Carta. Pages called Secret Diaries provide readers with an inside view, e.g. that of Isaac Newton’s cat, Spithead. Newsflashes helpfully bring headlines from around the rest of the world, explaining what was happening elsewhere at the time. It makes for a lively and engaging presentation; a book children will want to go back to again and again for all the stories and jokes learning lots each time. There’s a useful world map at the beginning and a glossary at the end. A clever and memorable way of teaching history.
Fascinating, easy-to-understand text by zoologist, researcher and writer, Dr Nick Crumpton is complemented by amazingly detailed dinosaur artwork on every spread from talented illustrator, Gavin Scott. It features jaw-dropping research that will debunk many myths about all kinds of prehistoric creatures - If you want to be able to do more than tell a Tyrannosaurus from a Triceratops, then this is the book for you! The LoveReading LitFest invited Nick Crumpton to the festival to talk about his informative, inventive and brilliantly entertaining dinosaur book! The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event here and sign up to become a member.
Testing friends’ and family members’ knowledge of birds, animals and insects is great fun with this clever riddle book, created by the team at National Geographic Kids. Pages of ‘What am I?’ questions are followed by pages with the answers, each illustrated with attractive colour photos of the relevant animals. The questions are intriguing, designed to get you thinking logically alongside those that are calling up remembered facts. Once thing’s for certain, you’ll learn lots of interesting information about lots of very different animals. Oh, and if you’re thinking about C*******s presents, this is definitely worth putting on a list!
September 2021 Book of the Month | Warning: this is the kind of book you can get lost in. Open at random for a quick bit of browsing, and you’ll find yourself engrossed, turning page after page to absorb its assortment of marvellous facts and weird true stories. Whatever takes your fancy, whether it’s space, animals, sport, vehicles or words or numbers, you’ll find information herein to boggle the mind, all brightly and attractively presented across large colour pages. Fun to look at, fascinating to read, this will prompt all sorts of ‘Did you know …?’ conversations. Great fun!
Written by Tracey Turner and Andrew Donkin in consultation with British Museum experts, A History of the World in 25 Cities is a wonderful concept that’s been dazzlingly executed through exquisite design as Libby Vander Ploeg’s luminously detailed illustrations draw the eye and spark the mind. Presented as a large format hardback, and resplendent with a striking neon cover, this mighty feat takes young readers on a magnificent journey around the world’s most fascinating cities, offering an exhilarating window into history and humankind. “Cities are full of possibilities. They are where big ideas are born, because they welcome people from far and wide.” So explains the lively, thought-provoking introduction before readers are welcomed to embark on a thrilling voyage of discovery through 25 cities, among them Jericho in 8500 BCE, ancient Athens and Rome, rain-forested Benin in the 1500s, seventeenth-century Delhi, eighteenth-century Paris, 1930s New York, and modern-day Tokyo. Each city is presented with fabulous maps and a feast of fascinating facts, with the book rounding off with a look ahead to cities of tomorrow. What a glorious gift-that-keeps-giving this will make for 7+-year-olds who are keen to learn more about the world.
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