Friday, February 25, 2011

The History Book by DK Publishing

The History Book presents "a trip through history from the stone age to the digital age". In this book, history is split into 6 time periods from 4 million years ago all the way to the present. It uses humour and flashy modern paraphernalia for the presentations that include large illustrations, photographs and other visual aids.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a joy to read and quite hilarious at times. The material isn't new, but the presentation is unique and makes learning history so much fun. As I've said many times on this blog, history is not my thing. If this book was around when I was first learning about history, I probably would have liked it a whole lot more. Besides being fun, the book is also educational and I learned a few things along the way.

I couldn't possible list all of the great items in this book. Every time I open it, I find something new. There are games: board games, arcade games, mazes, jigsaw puzzles...just to name a few. None of these are interactive, but it would be really fun if they were. There are also web pages/sites/blogs for historical figures, newspaper articles, interviews with the famous and infamous of the past, collages, comic strips and numerous maps and so much more. Each page is different from the last. All of the material is presented in a big, bright, eye-catching and informative format.

Some of my favourite pages for content and presentation:
- board game featuring Egyptian after life (page 32-33)
- boxing match between Sargon of Akkad and Nebuchadnezzar II (page 34-35)
- the Irish Rebellion presented on a song sheet with annotated lyrics. (page 232-233).
- curious quotes, mix-ups and misquotes (page 286-287)
- report card on Joseph Stalin (page 230-231)
- Roman Emperors' high school photographs along with interested, goals, voted most likely to... etc. (page 56-57)

The table of contents is fabulous. It's clearly grouped by time period and is nicely laid out. In addition, each of the topics is listed with a short description. The index is a little short, but it's still adequate. Both of these items should aid the reader in finding items in the book.

Highly recommended. While this book will probably never be used as a text book in school, I think it would be ideal for young history buffs or for those whose eyes glaze over when past events are mentioned.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the DK website.

I'd like to thank Chris at DK Canada for this review copy.

The History Book by DK Publishing, Dorling Kindersley Limited(DK), ©2008. ISBN 9781553631347(Paperback), 304p.


  1. Great review. I got a chuckle out of "the material isn't new". I know what you meant but still...

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Both my husband and I got a good laugh from your comment and the sentence you commented on. Thanks!


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