Are you a fan of Reference Books? Check out all our Reference book reviews, read extracts and compare prices.
What an interesting and original way to think about important people! This book picks out fifty men and women from different centuries and continents and gives them ‘awards’ for their achievements. Most get very specific awards just for them – Einstein for example gets the Curiosity Award – but there are categories too: the Brilliant Idea Awards recognise Isaac Newton as well as Sejong the Great who created the Korean alphabet. All sorts of people feature from David Bowie and Simon Bolivar to J.K. Rowling and Ana Nzinga. Most are represented with full page portraits opposite smaller pictures showing scenes from their lives. A useful timeline at the back puts everyone in their place chronologically. Here are stories to entertain as well as inform, and maybe to inspire too.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2018 | A stunning and original book and a useful one too. Subtitled ‘A Celebration of Nature’s Greatest Show-offs’ in glorious pictures it introduces over 600 different plants grouped together under all kinds of headings. There are some nice indoor plants under the heading ‘Air-fresheners’, a dramatic spread of ‘The Magical’ and some beautiful spreads of ‘The Ornamentals’. It’s a book that will whet any child’s interest in plants and excite them about the very many possibilities that they offer. There’s a useful index for helping readers revisit some of the amazing plants that have caught their eye. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2018 Square by Mac Barnett A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge A Perfect Day by Lane Smith Gaspard the Fox by Zeb Soanes & James Mayhew Wonder Goal! by Michael Foreman The Sand Dog by Sarah Lean The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell Plantopedia by Adrienne Barman
A world of prehistoric wonders awaits young readers in this excellent information book. Divided by continent it features maps of each followed by scenes depicting the area’s different dinosaur species in their natural habitats. There are notes on each dinosaur represented with detailed information on 30, from the really familiar – T Rex – to more recent discoveries such as the Gigantoraptor. The information is filled with memorable comparisons such as ‘steak-knife teeth’ and quirky visual jokes too: many of the big predators have got napkins round their necks and one is holding a knife and fork. Lucy Lethbridge’s illustrations capture the essence of the dinosaurs in bold, unfussy but arresting images and this will spark real and lasting interest in its subject. ~ Andrea Reece
For over 27 years, Top 10s have been delighting readers with fascinating lists and mindboggling facts. Ever wondered in which country you would find the fastest roller-coaster in the world? Or wanted to know the terrifying size of the biggest shark known to man? Ever wondered who could be the biggest selling musical artist of all time? This is the book for you.Top 10 of Everything 2018 is divided into genres including Epic Structures, Outer Space, Forces of Nature and Humankind, and includes lists, charts and tables to break down the details of each amazing fact. Packed full of photographs and incredible information, this is the perfect book for anyone with a curious mind and an insatiable appetite for facts, stats and trivia.
August 2017 Book of the Month Take a tour of one of the most complex, diverse and downright unusual places on the entire planet - the human body! Find out all about what makes YOU tick, from the wonders of the human brain to the tingling in your ticklish toes.
April 2017 Fascinating Facts Book of the Month This beautiful information book explores all aspects of our planet, this ‘tiny sphere that orbits an ordinary, middle-aged star in a quiet backwater of the Milky Way’. It examines the inner workings of the Earth; looks at life, from the smallest beings to the mightiest, past to present; opens up the huge variety of ecosystems; and ponders the impact humans have had and are having. The tone is one of conversation as author Jonathan Litton explains often complex topics in relaxed and accessible language. Thomas Hegbrook’s soft, ethereal images do more than illustrate the text. An inspiring book to send readers exploring even further. ~ Andrea Reece
Gotta catch 'em all! Immerse yourself in the Pokemon universe with this ultimate guide to the Pokemon animated series. Become a true Pokemon expert with this ultimate guide to the Pokemon animated series! 272 pages jam-packed with Pokemon stories, lessons, facts and figures, this amazing book features Pokedex references of each explored region, and the Pokemon encountered throughout Ash's incredible journey. The Pokemon Encyclopedia is the definitive reference for key characters, battles and places - it's an absolute must-have for all Pokemon fans. Immerse yourself in the Pokemon universe and learn the highest levels of Pokemon training. Gotta catch 'em all!
This atlas may be pocket sized, but it still packs in all seven continents and provides close-ups on some of the smallest of world’s marvels, from the tiniest animals and insects, to some of Europe’s miniature works of art. There’s a huge amount too in each picture for children to spot, and fascinating snippets of information likely to whet their appetite for exploration and discovery. Lucy Letherland’s illustrations are full of life and humour too, and will inspire many hours of contented browsing – in face, slip this into a Christmas stocking and it might even win you some extra snoozing time on Christmas morning. ~ Andrea Reece
Dictionaries don’t come more fun than this celebration of Roald Dahl, his books and the joy he took in gobblefunking (ie playing with words, inventing new words and meanings). Dahl had an extraordinary understanding of what children like and used onomatopoeia to create words full of sounds that children love to say: lickswishy, wondercrump, phizz-whizzing and of course scrumdiddlyumptious are all featured in this ‘extra—usual’ dictionary. In fact there are almost 8,000 words, real and made-real-by-Dahl, mostly words featured in his books, some just there for fun, and this is a book to browse happily for hours on end. It will encourage children to invent words themselves and liven up their own writing and with colour illustrations by Quentin Blake on every page this is squiffling in every way. ~ Andrea Reece One of our Books of the Year 2016 | June 2016 Book of the Month A message from Luke Kelly, Managing Director of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Roald Dahl's grandson: It's hard to find the right word to express our levels of excitement around the 'Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary'. Squacking? Jumpsquiffling? Gigantuous? Roald Dahl's inventive, playful use of language is such a key element of his writing, whether he was using existing words in his own mischievous way or inventing extra-usual new ones. It is wonderful to have this dictionary compiled with such expertise, passion and wit by Dr Susan Rennie and the team at OUP. There could be no more fitting way to pay tribute to Roald Dahl in the year of celebrations for his centenary. Best of all, as a fully-functioning dictionary for readers and writers aged eight and above, I hope it serves as a swashboggling source of inspiration for a whole new generation of storytellers. Teachers CLICK HERE to download some phizz-whizzing activity sheets to use in class!
This is the definitive guide to the characters, droids, aliens, and creatures of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Beautiful photography and clear, authoritative text by Lucasfilm insider Pablo Hidalgo names and explains all the details of costumes, weapons, and accessories. It includes three exclusive, specially commissioned cutaway models produced by Industrial Light & Magic model maker John Goodson. (copyright) & Trademark 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd.
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Year 2015 - November 2015 Book of the Month Bravo for this brilliant and inspiring book! It takes lots of different people with lots of different skills to put on a play, and in this book the team at the National Theatre explain just how it’s done: from script to opening night, taking in rehearsals, set making, make-up, lighting, sound and music, and more, they explain how their different roles and the work they do combine to create a magical theatrical experience. There’s a huge amount of information packed in, with quotes and comments from the professionals involved, technical information, stats and facts, and tips for you to try at home. By the end readers will have a really good understanding of theatre and no doubt a burning desire to see more shows and to put on plays themselves. ~ Andrea Reece Also chosen by Andrea Reece as one of her Top Picks of 2015.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.