The History of Everything (in 32 Pages)

Laurence King. Oct. 2020. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781786276841.
Gr 2-6–It may not include “everything,” but this title provides an overview of history from the Big Bang to today. Each full-color spread features illustrations and infographics, which illuminate concepts like planetary formation, evolution, and global agriculture. Refreshingly large in scope, the text does not center human development but emphasizes mankind’s relatively late entry onto the larger scene of our galaxy, solar system, and planet. While the complex vocabulary may be difficult for newly independent readers, the short text snippets that accompany the striking and bold illustrations assist with contextual meaning. The text could have benefitted from more extensive back matter.
VERDICT Although the lack of source notes and suggestions for further reading are disappointing, this work is ambitious in scope, full of interesting tidbits, and presents a balanced and diverse view of ecological and human history—all in 32 pages.

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