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Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention Hardcover – Illustrated, October 4, 2018
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From School Library Journal
"Starting with the Big Bang, concluding with space exploration, and neatly delineating the history of the earth on an imagined 24-hour clock, Lloyd takes readers on a journey from prehistory to the modern era that captivates, engages, entertains, and respects the intellect and enthusiasm of young readers. . . . Lloyd's ability to balance breadth and depth of subject matter equals his skill at revealing the interconnectedness of historical events through the use of clever transitions, parallel narratives, and the support of illustrative and supplemental materials like timelines and illustrations."- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) Nonfiction Honor List 2019
"This ambitious volume chronicles life on Earth as we know it, beginning with the big bang...Readers will garner a basic understanding of the scope of geological time, the progression of human civilization, and...defining historical moments, while the brief presentation is just enough to spark readers’ interest in learning more." - Publishers Weekly
"The history of Earth, from the big bang to the Black Lives Matter movement, in a little over 300 pages....The writing is engaging and thoughtful, providing plenty of information, humor, and opportunity for deeper thinking as Lloyd makes connections to things happening across the globe. He takes a surprisingly deep dive into the various prehistorical eras. Human conflicts throughout history share equal time with important inventions and the arts. An extensive glossary, a list of further reading, and quote sources are appended, along with a note from the author about his research process." - School Library Journal
"A view of human history from the Big Bang to experimental lab-grown meat." - Kirkus Reviews
Allows young readers to embark on an entertaining journey across millennia and continents and is a very highly and unreservedly recommended addition to family, school, and community library collections." - Midwest Book Review
"A wonderful gift for the curious and the families who love them. Not to be missed." - Parents’ Choice
"This chronologically organized reference-but-meant-be-read-for-fun book...is beautiful with lots of colorful finding aids, primary source images, snappy writing and engrossing topics (human evolution, inventions in the Muslim world, dinosaurs, etc.) Although it has an index, it's clearly meant to be pored over by the obsessive gatherer of facts who just can’t get enough Genghis Kahn or Megacerops. It’s the kid version of Schott’s Original Miscellany or the Atlas Obscura." - Youth Services Book Review
”Absolutely Amazing… Children will love it – and adults too!” - Jacqueline Wilson, author of Tracey Beaker
“From the Big Bang to yesterday’s breakfast, this book of fun and discovery makes sense of it ALL." - Martin Brown, Horrible Histories
“Absolutely Wonderful! I wish they’d had books like this when I was young…" - Anthony Horowitz, author of Alex Rider
- Grade Level : 4 - 7
- Item Weight : 2.7 pounds
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1999802837
- ISBN-10 : 1999802837
- Product Dimensions : 7.3 x 1.3 x 9.9 inches
- Publisher : What on Earth Books; Illustrated Edition (October 4, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Reading level : 9 - 12 years
- Best Sellers Rank: #148,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Well, it's a bit of a bumpy ride because the author does have to keep switching gears. We start with the Big Bang, which gets once-over-easy treatment. We move on to planetary science and some cosmology. Soon enough we focus on Earth, and do plate tectonics and the like. All of this is done briskly and it seemed to me that it was so brief it worked mostly just to get some big ideas on the table. Luckily, from that start we move on to the emergence of life and move through the various geologic ages of Earth, pointing out interesting life forms, (dinosaurs!), as we go. This is more familiar territory and is very kid friendly.
The book picked up more appeal and interest for me when we got to the emergence of humans and early civilizations. This is a big chunk of the book, (about a third), and falls into that broad "World Civilization" category. Africa, China and India get a lot of overdue attention before we turn our focus to Europe, and that alone recommended the book to me. Plus, once we get to the fall of Rome the book switches gears and heads to the Americas, including, amazingly, mostly South America, which never seems to get much attention in these world histories. So again, I was impressed by the range exhibited here. Now, this World Civilization part is a bit bumpy, (mostly from the picking and choosing the author had to do), and the tone varies from a bit jokey to more in depth, but it all struck me as a fairly credible attempt to touch on the big ideas - Greece, Rome, the Fertile Crescent, Persia, Egypt, China, the Indus Valley, major religions, the pre-Columbian Americas.
A bit past the half-way mark we turn to a more traditional framework. We start with a generous nod to the intellectual accomplishments of the Muslim World, go Medieval in Europe, then skip to global exploration, revolutions in science, and then the various nations of the world at various wars between 1845 and 1945. Obviously there are some big gaps there, since the last chapter is just a pretty short treatment of the post-World War II era. The upshot, to me, is that this ended up feeling a bit like "Ancient" World Civ with a long postscript, which actually made sense on reflection.
But of course the book can't really be about everything. As a world timeline that hit the early big ticket items and then surveyed events closer to the present, this actually worked pretty well. It's as evenhanded as such a project could be, and shallow in many places, but it is aimed at younger readers and seems to be intended to at least get a lot of the places, people, events and ideas that matter into a kid reader's head. On that score this worked fairly well and I wouldn't hesitate to put this into a young readers hands.
Reflecting on this, I thought about all of those time/place travel chapter books like "Magic Treehouse" and "Time Warp Trio" and the like. Kids in those books are always going to Rome or Egypt or the Great Wall of China or Mayan Temples. This book strings all of that together into a coherent story and time line. If that's all an elementary school or middle grade reader gets - an annotated timeline with a worldwide range - that's quite an achievement.
(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
“He says he knows everything”. Well the book is holding his attention so there is more to learn.
Great read put down and go back to it.
Top reviews from other countries
Absolutely Everything, well almost! This book gives it a pretty good go. Beautifully vibrant in design, even handed and balanced in tone. This book would be a wonderful addition to any book lover's shelf. Fizzing with illustrations and supporting facts and quotes. It is a throughly enjoyable reading experience designed to capture the attention and imagination of non fiction and fiction fans alike!
This is a great book for children to read with their parents. It is structured in a storybook style that makes it very readable for young children eager to learn but who have short attention spans. A staggering range of subjects are covered in the book from dinosaurs to inventors making it very attractive to children of both sexes.
My son loves the book and I notice him becoming more knowledgeable about a wide range of topics without him realising that this is in fact an educational book!