Today is my stop on the blog tour for the amazing BRITANNICA ALL NEW CHILDREN’S ENCYCLOPEDIA: What We Know and What We Don’t. The great joy of an encyclopedia for children is that the information has already been sifted and sorted by the experts, and is ready simply for them to enjoy and make use of as needed. As a school librarian, I could often be found encouraging children and young people to start with an encyclopedia for a foundation on which to build their knowledge. And you cannot get a stronger foundation than Encyclopedia Britannica, which has been inspiring learning since 1768!

BRITANNICA ALL NEW CHILDREN’S ENCYCLOPEDIA: What We Know and What We Don’t, edited by author and lecturer Christopher Lloyd, is the first book published under a new reference imprint, Britannica Books, a collaboration between Encyclopedia Britannica and What on Earth Publishing. With 416 pages of mind-boggling facts, data and visuals endorsed by more than 100 expert consultants, there is much to discover. Special features highlight some of the most intriguing facts and unsolved puzzles in science, archaeology, history and engineering and there are fascinating segments called FACTastic, Listified, Known Unknowns and Game Changers.

Today, I am sharing my thoughts on the section entitled ‘Humans’, almost fifty pages of dazzling insight into everything from how our bodies work to the clothes we wear, the food we eat, our emotions, human art and culture, money, crime and law, education and religion. Immediately you are struck by the high-quality production of the book and can see straightaway much thought has gone into making the information exciting and accessible. Layouts are colourful, easy to read and full of fantastic illustrations bringing the information to life.

This is the kind of book an avid reader will lap up and a reluctant reader will be very happy to dip in and out of – they won’t even realise they’re reading as they absorb the many fabulous facts on display in words and pictures! Facts like – a human being can make more than 10,000 different faces, and, scientists found 5,700 year old DNA in a piece of chewing gum! Alongside these engaging insights, children will learn so much more about human history, science and culture – this is a book readers will come back to again and again. It will also be very useful as an introduction to a whole range of topics – definitely one for the classtoom and school library.

My particular favourite spreads were (unsurprisingly) ‘Reading and Writing’ – did you know the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji, was written over 1,000 years ago by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting in the Japanese court? I didn’t! And the ‘Creating Art’ and ‘Performing Arts’ spreads showing just how important the Arts are to humans; creating art has been a part of our lives for over 40, 000 years. If you haven’t picked up an encyclopedia for a long time, then this is one I’d highly recommend- great to share in school and at home, inspiring curiosity and encouraging reading.

Find out more at

With thanks to Britannica Books for sending me this book to review and inviting me to participate in the blog tour. Check out the rest of the tour:

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