Newest Children's Non-Fiction Reviews

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Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Children's Non-Fiction

Women in Sport is coming to us just before the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February 2018. It celebrates a century and a half of the development of women's sport by looking at fifty of its highest achievers, covering sports as diverse as swimming, fencing, riding, skating, and much more. Think of a sport and a pioneering women succeeding at it is probably in this book somewhere. Each entry is a double page spread with a brief biography and a striking portrait. Full Review

Discovering Dinosaurs by Anne Rooney and Suzanne Carpenter

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Lift the flap books have progressed somewhat since I was a child. This one comes with sounds! Taking us layer by layer, through various different ages of dinosaurs, we meet a variety of creatures, some of whom are very familiar but some I'd never heard of before! Each scene peels open, layer by layer, showing you what the various dinosaurs are getting up to, with background noises, roars and squawks to accompany them! The book creates a dinosaur experience, rather than just being facts about dinosaurs it's very visual, placing the dinosaurs in their habitats and giving us sounds too that spike your imagination. Full review...

The Poo That Animals Do by Paul Mason and Tony de Saulles

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

I know, I know, sometimes you really don't want to encourage your children's poo jokes, but this book is brilliant! I sat and read it by myself when the kids had gone to school and found it fascinating! Who knew there was so much I didn't know about poo? The book manages to be both funny (and silly) as well as being very interesting and educational. Using a mixture of facts and figures, photographs and funny cartoons, you come away having sniggered a little at the vulture who poos on its own feet, but also knowing a lot about different types of poo, why poos smell, and why wombats do square poos. Full review...

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American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood by Susan Wood and Ross MacDonald

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Children's Non-Fiction, Confident Readers, Art

Who won a national prize for a crayon drawing of three oak leaves before he was properly in his teens? Who sought acclaim as an artist and came to Europe to study from the greats, only to reject all they had to offer? Who instinctively knew a picture of his dentist (yes, his dentist) would be more appealing and say more to people than floating water lilies and frilly ballet dancers? The answer in all cases was Grant Wood, practically the most well-known painter in America at one time, and still the best, alongside Edward Hopper, at presenting his world minus any Modernist trappings. Full Review

The Atlas of Monsters by Stuart Hill and Sandra Lawrence

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

There are monsters and mysterious characters, such as trolls, leprechauns, goblins and minotaurs. They're the stuff of far too many stories to remain mysterious, and every schoolchild should know all about them. There are monsters and mysterious characters, such as Gog and Magog, Scylla and Charybdis, and the bunyip. They are what you find if you take an interest in this kind of thing to the next level; even if you cannot place them all on a map you should have come across them. But there are monsters and mysterious characters, such as the dobhar-chu, the llambigyn y dwr, and the girtablili. To gain any knowledge of them you really need a book that knows its stuff. A book like this one… Full review...

Dinosaurium (Welcome to the Museum) by Lily Murray and Chris Wormell

5star.jpg Popular Science

One of the selling points for entities like the Jurassic Park films is that they bring all the high-energy action of dinosaur life to the screen, in a way that is suitable, they would say, for children of all ages. But there is a very different way of going about things. This book does feature dinosaur-on-dinosaur combat, but only in presenting the most scientific of fossil remains. It delves into the evolutionary life of what we have long loved to enjoy and all the major scientific developments for the most inquisitive student, so the book is actually worth considering in a very different way. I would say this is ideal for adults of all ages. Full review...

This Cookbook is Gross by Susanna Tee and Santy Gutierrez

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

The misuse of language is a modern disease. Too many times something is described as awesome or stupendous, but were you truly awed by it? Or stupefied? People just seem to pluck words out of the ether and pretend that they are the correct ones. Are the recipes in Susanna Tee and Santy Gutierrez's 'This Cookbook is Gross' truly gross? For once the language is not overplayed. These recipes may taste nice, but in appearance they are absolutely vile. Full review...

Jojo's Guide to the Sweet Life by Jojo Siwa

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

JoJo with the Bow Bow has written a Book Book! And without meaning to sound like my expectations were low, it was surprisingly good. I say this because we know JoJo as the girl from Dance Moms with the outspoken mother (well, one of the outspoken mothers) who is known for her dancing and the big bows she wears, more than for her brains. And yet this book shows us another side, a side in which she is an articulate, insightful and intelligent young woman. Full review...

Stupendous Science by Rob Beattie and Sam Peet

5star.jpg Popular Science

Education should be fun. We learn best when we are engaged with practical, enjoyable tasks. That's the secret behind the experiments in Stupendous Science. They have the fun element, the 'wow factor,' and most importantly, can be easily replicated with items that are readily available in the home. Each experiment teaches an important scientific concept; essentially teaching through play. Full review...

Optical Illusions by Gianni Sarcone and Marie Jo Waeber

5star.jpg Popular Science

I used to work as a library assistant and I remember arriving to work one morning to find all of my fellow librarians crowded around a book, chattering excitedly and...squinting rather oddly. The book was called Magic Eye and promised a magical 3D viewing experience if you looked at the psychadelic pictures in a certain way. For a brief period in the early 90s, the pictures had a sudden spike in popularity, until everyone presumably got eye strain and went back to their everyday lives. Well good news Magic Eye fans! The pictures are back (albeit only two images), in the engrossing and immersive new book Optical Illusions. Full review...

Make and Play: Nativity by Joey Chou

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

I always feel a slight disappointment for children at Christmas when they're presented with a tree to decorate with a box of ornaments and a nativity scene (sometimes quite precious, so it's Not To Be Played With) which is set up Somewhere Safe. Where's the imagination, the creativity, the sense of pride in that? How much better to have a child create their own nativity scene, which they can then play with? That's exactly what they get with Joey Chou's Make and Play Nativity. Full review...

50 Things You Should Know About the Vikings by Philip Parker

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

The Vikings have got a lot to own up to. A huge DNA study in 2014 was the first thing that proved to the Orkney residents that they had Viking blood in their veins – they had been insisting it was that of the Irish. The Vikings it was that forced our English king's army to march from London to Yorkshire to kill off one invasion, only to spend the next fortnight schlepping back to Hastings to try and fend off another – and the Normans had the same Norse origin as the first lot, hence the name. There is a Thames Valley village just outside Henley – ie pretty damned far from the coast – that has a Viking longship on its signpost. Yes, they got to a lot of places, from Greenland to Kiev, from Murmansk to Turkey and the Med, and their misaligned history is well worth visiting – particularly on these pages. Full review...

Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures: Step Into a Prehistoric World by Emily Hawkins and Lucy Letherland

4star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

You might think, what with books about dinosaurs being just as varied (and almost as old) as dinosaurs themselves, that there was little to say about them that hadn't been said, and few new ways of giving us information about them. Well, I would put it to you that this is a novel variant. Over many jumbo spreads, we get a different dinosaur in a different situation each time, whether it be being born, being slain or learning to fly, and the book gives us all the usual facts, not in chronological order, nor in some other more spurious fashion, but grouped by where these dinosaurs lived. The continent-wide chapters have several entrants in each, and what with the book hitting all corners of our current globe, it brings the world of dinosaur remains right to our door, and makes this old subject feel remarkably new… Full review...

Pirates Magnified: With a 3x Magnifying Glass by David Long and Harry Bloom

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

It's becoming easier and easier to spot books for the young about pirates – that surely is about the only career from the seventeenth century that gets so many volumes produced about it. It must be a combination of the derring-do, the illegality, and of course the fancy dress and silly speak that appeals – nowhere else would you see a youngster studying one country's attacks on another, and reading about how treasures, slaves and other resources changed hands. This volume, however, tries its best to stand out, and has adopted the equally prevalent concept of getting the reader to pore over large dioramas to seek the small detail hidden in the images. For once, though, there's a thoroughly educative reasoning behind it. Full review...

Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers by Caroline Alliston

4star.jpg Popular Science

Build It! 25 Creative STEM Projects for Budding Engineers takes a strictly hands-on approach to science to show how scientific ideas can be applied to real-world situations. The book contains 25 projects with varying degrees of complexity to demonstrate topics such as air travel, programmable machines, light, motion and electricity. The book is designed with the younger scientist in mind, so there is a focus on the fun aspect, with many of the projects involving toys. Full review...

We Travel So Far by Laura Knowles and Chris Madden

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

The lead singer of Foreigner said I've travelled so far to change this lonely life. Well, he's gone nowhere in comparison to many of these creatures, who probably wouldn't call their life lonely, either. Masses of animals gather, herd, school, and fly in unison, and all make their migration to change their lives. Some hide from the danger of winter storms, many seek the food they need before hibernation or their first meals after breeding, some just trot up a volcano to lay eggs in the one place they know will keep them warm. It might seem to be an unusual approach – having a sparsely-texted book solely about one aspect of animal nature, but on this evidence it's an approach that certainly works. Full review...

13½ Incredible Things You Need to Know About Everything by DK

3.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Having the Internet in the home for a child to learn from is all well and good, but it won't replace an encyclopaedia. For one thing, there definitely is an instance of having too much of a good thing – it is no use for the young mind to be exposed to every bit of knowledge we may have amassed. No, you need someone authoritative enough to come along and collate the important bits, letting you learn just enough, and the key things you do need to know, all from one place. This book doesn't really term itself as an encyclopaedia, that has to be said, but its large format puts it on the shelf next to them, and its colourful and educative mien proves it's a very close relative, at least of the modern kind. What it has decided to do is to structure the world into certain subjects, and to give us 13½ facts regarding every topic. And what a diverse range of topics it has amassed. Full review...

My Encyclopedia of Very Important Animals by DK

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

The animal kingdom is a diverse one, full of creatures that do all sorts of things. The number of animals out there is so vast that even vets need to do a quick google when something strange appears in their practice. For budding vet-to-be animals are a constant source of fascination and they will absorb as much knowledge as you can give them. It is not practical to visit the zoo every day, but getting an educational and entertaining animal encylopedia is. Full review...

DK Children's Encyclopedia by DK

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

More than sixty years ago my grandparents bought me an encylopedia: it was a major purchase for them as they didn't really do books, but it was a treasure trove for me and I still have it today. It didn't just teach me facts - it taught me how to find out information for myself and how to use an index. It opened my eyes to subjects I'd never considered and widened my knowledge on those I already loved. In format, in size and content it was very similar to DK Children's Encyclopedia and I can imagine a younger me hunched over it and begging just to be allowed to finish this bit before I went to bed. Full review...

Life on Earth: Dinosaurs: With 100 Questions and 70 Lift-flaps! by Heather Alexander and Andres Lozano

5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

I was a big fan of dinosaurs when I was a nipper. Since then the science regarding them has evolved leaps and bounds. We've got in touch with them perhaps being feathered, and have assumed colours and noises they made – we can even extrapolate from their remains what their eyesight, hearing and so much more may have been like. But science will never stop, and the next generation will need to be on board with the job of discovering them, analysing them, and presenting them to a world that never seems to get enough of the nasty, superlative beasties of Hollywood renown. As you're the kind of person to ask questions, you may well ask 'how do you get that next generation ready for their place in the field and in the laboratory?' I would put this as the answer – even if it is made itself of a hundred questions. Full review...