'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 30 August 2010

Review: Book of Firsts

Title: Book of Firsts

Author: James Buckley Jr

Illustrator: David Sheldon and Robert Prince

Publisher: Scholastic, A$12.99RRP

Publication Date: August 2010

Format: Soft cover

ISBN: 9871741696820

For ages: 7+

Type: Information Book

About: LOVE a good information book, me, and this book of firsts is just so so cool, you’ll want to dive in ahead of the kids. It’s true – these are the coolest, most exciting first facts ever!

What I like about this book is that it’s written in kid language. It doesn’t pander nor patronize – it’s light, fun and easily draws kids in to exploring the pages. The tri-colour pictures are not only fun, they’re super retro groovy, which parents will appreciate.

Broken into chapters with headings such as Air and Space, Entertainment, Everyday Things, Exploration, Food, Money and Technology, kids will get a real kick out of upping their General Knowledge. Trivia is always cool and there’s not much sweeter than watching a kid bury his head in a book and come up for air saying ‘did you know?’ or even ‘wow!’

My only criticism (and it’s not really a criticism) would be that the book is still quite Americanised – airplane, popsicle, etc., however, the publishers have most happily added Australian references for our kids – like the very first hot air balloon flight – which travelled for 25 minutes from an amusement park in Richmond, Victoria, in 1858.

Other fascinating firsts include film firsts, the first movie stars (anyone heard of Bronco Billy Anderson?), the first comic book, games, rollercoaster, pavlova and the first television used in public (80 years ago this month).

Great for kids, teachers, parents and general fact nuts, this is a great one for the library.

Footnote: according to the author, while there over 1000 firsts in this book, there are actually many thousands more out there in the world to discover. So grab your mates, your parents or you teacher, get out there and find some more!