Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Smart-opedia: The Amazing Book About Everything

Smart-opedia: The Amazing Book About Everything

For ages 8 to 12
Owlkids Books, 2007   ISBN: 978-1897349090

Children are naturally curious. Their lives are full of questions, and sometimes it is not easy to find the answers. How was the moon formed? How far down has man gone into the Earth's crust? What is the world's largest rodent? What was the industrial revolution?

These and many more questions are answered in this unique reference book. The authors have not only chosen to write about topics that children are drawn to and want to know about, but, with the help of creative illustrators and books designers, they have created a format that makes all kinds of topics accessible to children.

The book is divided into four main sections: "Amazing World," "Live it up," "Then and now," and "Genius at work." "Amazing world" looks at astronomy and the earth, exploring space and the features of our planet, including its weather, the ocean, and its geology.

"Live it up" looks at the plants and animals that live on Earth. This includes a section about humans.

"Then and now" examines the history of the world and what the world is like today. Among other things, this section explores different cultures by taking readers into the lives of three children who live in Mali, Thailand, and Mexico City.

In the "Genius at work" section the arts, sciences, and technology are investigated.

The double page spread articles are not only packed with interesting information and facts, but they also contain numerous illustrations, photographs, diagrams, maps, mini biographies, and questions. The annotations for the artwork and photographs provide readers with all kinds of background information, which perfectly supplements the main text.

In addition to these pages, the authors of this book have also included several newspaper- like articles which are cleverly presented to look like real newspaper pages complete with an interview, news briefs, and a letter from the editor.

This is the kind of book that readers can dip into at random. There is something here for everyone, and adults will also enjoy exploring this title.