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Summary: Arranged by countries this volume catalogs thousands of years of human achievements. Country by country, the world's most fascinating firsts are plotted on large full page maps. Eye-catching icons set off each fact and the subject areas of these firsts range from science and sports to pop culture and exploration. Where was the first skyscraper constructed? Who won the first air-guitar championship? What is Sweden's main claim to fame?
This is a book to explore for fun or historical research
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 5 to 10
Age of Child: Read with a class of 9- and 10-year olds (4th grade).
Young Reader Reaction: A friend of mine showed this to her class with mixed results. Some of kids thought it was pretty "cool" but others were ambivalent.
Adult Reader Reaction: Frankly, I loved this book as did my friend. We both thought it was filled with fascinating information and nicely designed.
Pros: Attractive color illustrations and lots of fascinating facts engage kids in exploring the world, uncovering history AND topics of interest to them.
Cons: The only real problem is that the print is rather small but that's probably about the only way the author could get as many "firsts" as he does into the book.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. I'd buy this one since I think the book will be enjoyed by everyone in the family. You might even make up a trivia game based on the information found here.
Educational Themes: The book engages kids in history, geography, and world facts. The author has effectively layered them together to allow for lots of exploration.
Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online are at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.
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