Monday, December 8, 2014

The Story of Britain by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom (Franklin Watts)


The Story of Britain

Written by Mick Manning

Illustrated by Brita Granstrom

Published by Franklin Watts

As our wonderful regular blog readers will know, Charlotte is a real history nut and cannot get enough of the amazing crop of children's non-fiction titles that focus on history, particularly the history of Britain and history that Charlotte can more readily identify with.

"The Story of Britain" by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom is the sort of huge weighty hardback that we absolutely adore. Stretching back in time to when the British Isles first became an actual island, cut off from mainland Europe as sea levels rose, the book takes us through each era in turn, describing how our ancestors may have hunted mammoths, constructed the first tools out of stone then later copper and bronze, through the Roman Invasion, then the Norman Invasion and right through to the 20th Century and times of war.

The double-page panel spreads for each era are absolutely stuffed to the brim with characters, facts and figures from each period of history - introducing some of the pivotal figures in British history from royalty to celebrity, from politician to peasant. We particularly liked the fact that women of history are front and centre in the book quite often, including Mary Shelley (who Charlotte instantly spotted and got VERY excited about! One of these days I'm going to have to let her read Frankenstein I guess!)

The end of the book gets even better, as Mick and Brita come up with a fantastic list of inventions and folk that truly reflect our diverse nation (so utterly awesome to see a shout out to Benjamin Zephaniah! What an awesome dude he is!) I also have to admit to being rather fond of the back-of-the-book quote that says firmly "History doesn't have to be horrible" - Amen to that!

An utterly absorbing and brilliant history book for your younglings.

Charlotte's best bit: Loving Mary Shelley, and the female spy!

Daddy's Favourite bit: Chock full of amazing content, detailed and fantastic - and once again proof positive that history doesn't need to be squishy, yucky or gross to be appealing to kids!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Franklin Watts Publishing)

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