Before we had access to the Internet and search engines we used to use encyclopedias to help us answer our questions and learn new facts, a concept that I explained to my daughter when she asked me ‘how we found out the answers to our questions in the olden days’! My Encyclopedia of Very IMPORTANT THINGS has given her a wonderful insight into what an encyclopaedia is and how it works and has shown her that if we want answers to our questions we don’t always need to rush to a computer!
We’ve really enjoyed browsing through My Encyclopedia of Very IMPORTANT THINGS, it’s a sturdy hardback with a beautiful green ribbon to use as a bookmark. The double page spreads are a mix of illustrations, text and photographs, some landscape and some portrait. The encyclopedia is split into six colour coded sections which are clearly explained at the front of the book and throughout the book a title page for each section introduces the main theme with a short description. At the back of the book is a simple, easy to use index which is great for beginner readers.
Very important things about my planet includes information about space, the earth, weather and various types of landscapes including deserts and rainforests. We also discovered what causes an earthquake, a question that my daughter asked fairly recently.
Very important things about places includes an overview of the seven continents. The following pages spotlight each individual continent and show a map and postcards that represent the country. We love the postcard of the Emperor Penguins in Antarctica.
Very important things about animals includes an overview of the different species. It includes mammals, dinosaurs, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and animal habitats. It even includes the story of The tortoise and the hare.
Very important things about people takes us on a journey from very early humans and their lifestyles to the people of today. Including people from all continents it also introduces us to festivals and celebrations around the world, important inventors and scientists and various modes of transport including the moon landing in 1969.
Very important things about me introduces the body as an amazing machine. Illustrations show us how our organs, skeleton and muscles look and how blood travels around the body. The importance of sleep and healthy eating are included as are developments in medicine. This section gives a child lots of information about their body and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Some other very important things includes a miscellany of interesting information from greetings around the world to the flags of different countries to cloud formations. It’s a great section to introduce younger children to basic vocabulary such as colours, shapes, numbers and musical instruments. We particularly like the top 10 lists at the end of this section, my daughter was fascinated by the top 10 deadly animals while I found the top 10 largest countries list interesting.
This really is a fascinating first encyclopedia which my husband and I have both enjoyed sharing with our daughter, it provides introductions to so many basic concepts and a springboard to further learning. It would be a fabulous addition to an Early Years / Key Stage One classroom and is a great book to encourage children to read more non fiction.
Age Range: 4 +
Thank you to Dorling Kindersley for sending us a copy of this wonderful book which has proved to be a fantastic learning resource for everybody in the family!