Would You Believe...in Mexico people picnic at granny's grave?! by Richard Platt

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Would You Believe...in Mexico people picnic at granny's grave?! by Richard Platt

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: An enjoyable entry in a very bright and engaging series of trivia and knowledge for the primary school age child, concerning the nature of families worldwide.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 48 Date: April 2010
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 978-0199119851

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Well if there’s one important aspect of families, it is that books are included. It is evident from the details, trivia and facts here that you don’t need a father, a mother, or siblings. You might even have several spreads of half- and step-siblings, and copious parents here, there and everywhere. You might get to have a nanny, a cohort of family helpers, but one thing I would thrust on anybody would be a collection of books at home – and yes, books such as these tidy 48 pages would be among them.

The only fault I have with this series of books is that they are not quite as tidy as they should be. It is a harder read than it need be, with three font sizes used where one would have done for a child of my generation. It can be very awkward to try and read each double-page spread in chronological order.

But that is a minor fault, and if I had a child interested in the subject matter of any of these ten books I would like them to enjoy a book such as this. It presents its facts in a handy way, via a couple of paragraphs only on each topic, and copious captions for very well-chosen pictures. It does not have any editorial slant, is accurate, very well produced, and covers its ground quickly and surprisingly comprehensively.

Thus here we go from the basics – a wedding (and it’s compelling to see in so few words how varied that experience is around the planet) to family life, through to funerals. What families need consist of, as I say, is alongside the death of the family dining experience, as pictured by a girl with burger and chips sliding off her couch, TV remote in hand. The family goes from Royalty to the Greenlander learning to fish at the knee of his parent, even though shops full of food are now on hand for them all.

In my limited experience of juvenile non-fiction I don’t think this range is ideal for the home – I am sure there are further, more comprehensive reads out there on any of the subjects in the series. But for the school librarian, this book and the others I have experienced will, I am sure, handily replace many older volumes, with a perfectly up-to-date and very enjoyable learning experience.

You only need read the captions in these pages, and elsewhere in the range, to see how many historical photographs are almost exactly a hundred years ago, to know a lot of thought has gone into this series.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

For finding your family in a book, historical documents and a lot more, we recommend Who Am I?: The Family Tree Explorer by Anthony Adolph.

Buy Would You Believe...in Mexico people picnic at granny's grave?! by Richard Platt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Would You Believe...in Mexico people picnic at granny's grave?! by Richard Platt at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Would You Believe...in Mexico people picnic at granny's grave?! by Richard Platt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Would You Believe...in Mexico people picnic at granny's grave?! by Richard Platt at Amazon.com.

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