Absolutely Everything! A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention by Christopher Lloyd, 352 pp, RL 4

Absolutely Everything! A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention by Christopher Lloyd
Review Copy from What On Earth Books
What: After a foreword where author Lloyd shares the story of how a doing the dishes outdoors on a family camping trip (and not being able to identify a bird he spotted or the tree it was in) inspired the writing of this book. Aiming for, "something simple enough to understand but sweeping enough to connect together the dots of the past," Lloyd's book is for people who love to ask questions as much as they love to find answers.
There are tons of general information books for kids on the shelves, with more arriving every year. What differs with each book is the format in which the information is presented and how it is organized. Unlike the hugely popular National Geographic Kids non-fiction books and the classic DK Eyewitness series, Lloyd opts for illustrations for the most part, which I find refreshing, with photographs to supplement. He also opts for a more traditional format when it comes to presenting information, rather than the chunks of factoids scattered across the pages like most kid's books today. The fifteen chapters of the book are color coded and, as the illustrations show, each chapter begins with a stunning two-page spread that signals the color and lays out a timeline of what is to come. Back matter includes an afterword, references, a glossary and, of course, an index.
Why Read? Why Buy?: Curiosity about the world we live in is something that I am finding little of in the students I work with and I worry that this could reflect a growing trend, spurred by the anesthetizing talking heads on the internet that so many kids consume these days. While Lloyd's book may not have the snappy, catchy, quick-to-consume images and bites of information that other non-fiction kid's books have, it is definitely visually engaging, if possibly better suited to a child who, willing to put down the device, chooses to read. It is a beautifully designed book that would make a magnificent gift for young and old. After all, I learned something new with every chapter I read and often found I was happily reminded of things I learned as a child and had forgotten!

Be sure to visit the publisher website, What On Earth Books for more amazing books and, a favorite of mine, fold-out timelines! What on Earth Publishing specializes in the, "art of telling stories through timelines. Our range of fold-out books make inspirational gists for children but are equally enjoyable for adults." What on Earth Publishing promotes the, "joy of learning by connecting knowledge together through natural curiosity."

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