Riley is 5 years old and has always been naturally inquisitive about the world around him, but this thirst for knowledge has intensified since he started school in September. He loves to learn and is forever asking me questions about things I simply do not know the answers too. Things like; Why is the grass green? Why do chicks come from eggs? How are televisions made? Why do we have bones? Why do stars only come out at night?
Thankfully, My First Encyclopedia of Why? sets out to answer some of these questions and other questions your child might ask about the physical, natural and human world around them.
My First Encyclopedia of Why? is an illustrated information book that’s part of the ‘My First Discoveries’ book series from Moonlight Publishing. It comes in a spiral-bound board book format and is aimed at children aged 4-7 years, however, Harry is 3 years old and loves to look at the pictures in this book so it definitely appeals to a younger audience as well. It has over 150 questions and answers which are split up into the following categories:
- The countryside
- The sea
- The mountains
- Our body
- Earth and sky
For quick and easy reference, there is a contents section at the beginning of the book, which lists all of the questions under their respective category along with their page number. This means you can to go straight to the page you are looking for, without having to flick through every single one.
The book asks the question in bold and then provides a clear and concise answer in response. Answers are accompanied by over 200 detailed and realistic illustrations that help children visualise the answers. I found the majority of answers to be perfectly adequate, even prompting further questions and exploration, but some of them seemed a little vague.
For example, Riley’s question “Why do chicks come from eggs?” just so happens to be in the book (which he was thrilled about), and though the book explains that hens lay eggs and chicks develop inside them, it doesn’t actually tell him why that happens. I get that the information needs to be provided in a way that children can easily process/understand, but I think that some of the answers could have gone into a little more detail.
The illustrations in My First Encyclopedia of Why? are beautifully detailed and many of the larger images are actually labelled, which is brilliant as it enables children to build their vocabulary. I particularly love the illustrated overlays on the transparent pages which reveal hidden scenes and other surprises.
There is also a fun 12-question quiz at the end of the book, which is a great learning tool because it encourages children to recall information they’ve learnt from the book.
My First Encyclopedia of Why? is an excellent resource book for children, without being a text book. The use of detailed and instructive illustrations together with clear and simple answers captivates children and holds their attention. The book has a thick, padded front and back cover for extra protection and pages that are of a really high quality – my only concern is that with two boisterous boys at home it won’t be long before some of the pages are ripped and torn away from the spiral bound.
My First Encyclopedia of Why? is a beautiful book and would make a wonderful gift for children who are curious about the physical, natural and human world around them.
My First Encyclopedia of Why? is available to purchase from Boolino for £14.99