My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK

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My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Grab hold of a 'my first encyclopaedia' for a fact hungry 4-7 year old. This book will fill their mind with loads of new ideas, but beware; you may end up having to hear all about them.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: September 2016
Publisher: DK Children
ISBN: 9780241224939

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Depending on the curiosity level of your child, you may start to hate the word why. Why is the sky blue? Why do some elephants have bigger ears than others? Why, why, why, why! I can suggest to most parents that they make something up that sounds vaguely intelligent. The problem is that kids are canny little things. So, rather than trying to download the entirety of the internet into your head, get your child their own first encyclopaedia, something like My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things.

Very Important Things is the type of book that was sent off on a fact finding mission and didn't come back for years. There are over 200 pages of A4 size hardback packed with eclectic information from Space, to animals, to history. So many topics are covered that hopefully there will be an answer contained within to sooth the most curious of minds.

As this is a 'my first encyclopedia' it's aimed at the 5-7 year market and their understanding of the contents will depend somewhat on their prior knowledge and reading ability. It's a book that you can pick up and share, but it best given as a gift to a knowledge-hungry child to absorb at their leisure. The impressive elements of the book all surround how well delivered it is to the age group. There are loads of different topics covered and each gets at least a full colour double-page spread. Rather than ramming each page with information, DK are aware that they are encouraging little learners, so they instead place between 5 and 10 factoids per spread.

There is a wonderful balance between imagery and information that makes the book very compelling to look at. There are photos that provide information, but also illustrations that provide fun. Between the two, each topic is covered in a way that seems a little silly, but is actually impressively in depth for the target audience.

The only real concern about the book is that it is a very eclectic mix. Encyclopaedias as a type will always cherry pick what is included and what is not, but Very Important Things almost feels scattergun as it attempts a whistle-stop tour of any topics that kids find cool - dinosaurs, the human body etc. At times the book almost feels dizzying it its variation.

The fact that no one subject is concentrated on for a prolonged time means that some children will read the parts that interest them and ignore the others. However, for a child who is hungry to know everything about everything, this is a good place to start. The colourful style and simple, but effective, facts makes this a very attractive book for a junior with an active mind.

There many great children's non-fiction books that appeal to different types of child; the slightly mischievous would like Dead or Alive? by Clive Gifford and Sarah Horne, whilst the lovers of information overload should go for Ultimate Reptileopedia by Christina Wilsdon.

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Buy My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things by DK at


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