Lots by Marc Martin
|Lots by Marc Martin|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: A fact book with a difference, with lots and lots of random facts well illustrated, but is it all a little too random to be useful?|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 40||Date: February 2017|
|Publisher: Big Picture Press|
|External links: Author's website|
The children's encyclopaedia is not the same genre as those used by adults. Whilst the older generation had to make do with giant tomes filled with information and perhaps, if you are lucky, a small black and white picture every now and again; the kids get full colour books with more images than facts. Lots by Marc Martin takes this even further by reducing the facts even further and bombarding your eyeballs with illustrations.
Marc Martin is an illustrator and author who has a distinct style and runs with it. Lots is so called because each double spread of this hardback version of the book is packed with lots and lots of images about a given subject. Most of the pages feature a famous city, but there are also other pages that cover objects such as the ocean. To portray the information Martin has filled every inch of the page with his watercolour style illustrations. A given city may be New Delhi and rather than telling you all there is about this city, he portrays a vibrant slice by highlighting things such as rickshaws, weddings and bangles.
Your reaction to Lots will depend a great deal on what you want and expect from a book that seeks to inform. There is no way that this book can be considered the be all and end all of information, even in the increasingly information lite books that are being made available for children. The style adopted by Martin means that the book almost drops out of the encyclopeadia genre and into that of the coffee table book. As something to behold, it looks great. Each page is jam packed with colour and attracts the eye.
However, does it have more than a function as a piece of art? The fact that it does not provide a huge amount of useful information means that it is not actually that useful for a child to use. Try writing a short paragraph on a given city from this book, you would struggle. The entire nature of Lots is sporadic. It is lots of random things thrown onto a page. Random facts about random topics. If Martin had called the book Lots: Major Cities it would have made some sense, but by splicing the likes of Cape Town with The Amazon means that the book just feels like it has a scatter-gun approach.
With the book being unable to inform perhaps it is best seen as one of those children's books that appeal mostly to an adult. I imagine that a child attracted to pictures, rather than words, would appreciate this book, but they would still require another book to accompany it if they planned to actually learn anything. With a series of more topic-based books Martin may have been able to impart enough information on a given subject, whilst still retaining his artistic prowess. As it is, this is a book that succeeds as art, but fails as education.
Another book that seemingly picks a selection of random topics is My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK, but at least in this case the copious imagery is backed up with information.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lots by Marc Martin at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Lots by Marc Martin at Amazon.com.
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