Dorling Kindersley, 2008
There is nothing subtle about the metallic gold cover of this book, but it is certainly eye catching.
In between the bold (if not downright brassy) front and back covers are 300 equally eye-boggling pages which are an equally bold attempt to capture the entire sweep of human history “from the stone age to the digital age”. The work of a large team of editors, designers and contributors, it employs just about every visual and literary gimmick applicable to the printed page. Whether or not it works as a history book is probably a matter for some debate. It is at least less Eurocentric than most general history books for young people. It is most certainly an entertaining page-turner! New Zealand gets two mentions: one in the double page spread on Captain Cook (done in the style of a blog), and the other in a spread on the British Empire showing Queen Victoria, feather duster in hand, gloating over her glass-domed collection of colonies.
Fun for the whole class! Particularly recommended for intermediate and junior secondary level.
Reviewed by Pamela