Book Review: Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia: What We Know & What We Don’t

Title: Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia: What We Know & What We Don’t

Written by: Michael Bright, John Farndon, Dr Jacob F. Field, Abigail Mitchell, Cynthia O’Brien, Jonathan O’Callaghan

Illustrated by: Mark Ruffle and Jack Tite

Edited by: Christopher Lloyd and J.E. Luebering

Published by: Britannica Books

Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia: What We Know & What We Don’t

Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia: What We Know & What We Don’t is a clear and concise encyclopaedia with a twist. This unique encyclopaedia explains what we already know in the fields of chemistry, physics and biology and what we still need to discover. Rather than listing the entries in alphabetical order it is organised in sequential time order – starting from the beginning of time, to the present day and looking into the future where its highlights some of the most intriguing unexplained puzzles in archaeology, engineering, history and science, whilst still embracing the fundamental truth everything is constantly changing.

Aimed at Key Stage Two, Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia is divided into eight chapters, each one written by a different author and all edited by the renowned writer of the What on Earth wallbooks, Christopher Lloyd. The eight chapters are: Universe, Earth, Matter, Life, Humans, Ancient & Medieval Times, Modern Times, and Today & Tomorrow.

Each subject area is explored using diagrams, illustrations, infographics, maps and photography, as well as text. It is divided into separate coloured blocks so even the most reluctant reader can browse, or dip in and out. All the facts and explanations provide a mammoth amount of information in original and engaging ways, which will interest older children and adults as well as KS2. Perfect for STEM education.

Over 100 experts have been consulted in the compiling of this book. At the bottom of each double-page is a credit to the expert who has checked the information and facts included on that spread. At the end of each chapter is an interview with three different experts, explaining what they love about their job and what they are working to discover at the moment. Together these experts form a directory of innovators who have changed the course of history or science with their actions and discoveries. There is also a multiple-choice quiz at the end of each chapter so readers can test their own comprehension. All the answers can be found somewhere within the chapter but are also listed upside-down at the bottom of the quiz.

Readers of all ages will love discovering the facts, lists and information, which may inspire them to do their own research to uncover some of the remaining mysteries of our planet, the universe and beyond. There is cross-referencing so they can explore the topic further from different perspectives in the other chapters broadening their interest and knowledge. What I particularly like is how it highlights particular areas which need our attention that may be of interest to young conservationists.

This exquisitely presented, 416-page compendium of amazing, mind-boggling facts you can trust, will provide hours of exciting learning for curious readers all over the world. An excellent resource to support any topic in the classroom and could be used for homework and home-schooling. This book would make the ideal gift.

This book was originally reviewed for Armadillo Magazine

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