- Age Range: 9 and up
- Grade Level: 4 and up
- Hardcover: 195 pages
- Publisher: Usborne Pub Ltd; Combined edition (January 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0794524788
- ISBN-13: 978-0794524784
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Usborne Book of World History Hardcover – January, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is well organized into 1-2 page spreads that cover a brief time period or subject relating to a time period, which makes nice divisions for daily or weekly history lessons. For larger subject areas such as the Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations, there are several 2-page spreads covering more detailed areas of life and culture. The book begins with a 2-page spread called "Digging up History" then continues with early settlers, earliest cities, then major civilizations and empires. The page layouts are "Usbourne style," meaning there are many illustrations per page with captions about a paragraph long accompanying them. The illustrations are well done in that they give a good idea of what life was probably like during each time of history.
Each spread usually has a caption entitled "How We Know," which tells specific archeological evidences for the specific cultures. There are also small time charts on several spreads giving key dates for that specific culture. There are two large time charts in the book, the first covers First Civilizations to the Fall of Rome, the second continues on from there to 1914. Each chart covers 9 major geographical areas and gives a basic overview of what was happening in each.
This book is an excellent general overview. It is a good starting point, but for a more in-depth study needs to be supplemented with additional books that go into more detail.
It does jump around a bit, because of the commitment to chronological presentation of *world* history. It's difficult to get the right mix on this, because one wants to see the continuous development of a particular region, but one also wants to see events in the greater context of World history. If the mix given in the book doesn't suit, though, it's possible to simply skip over parts and come back to them later. We use the book to provide a frame of reference, and a jumping off place for further study. In that respect, I think this book is better organized than The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia. The latter has far more text, but, in my opinion, it's too dense for young children.
Some reviewers have mentioned the nudity in the pictures. I'm not sure what to make of that. Presumably they don't allow their children to view works of art that contain nudity either, since the Usborne nudity is far less graphic than a classical or renaissance statue. I don't know what harm a child could suffer from viewing Michelangelo's David, or Botticelli's Birth of Venus, though. The pictures in the Usborne book are harmless.
Other reviewers have claimed that there are inaccuracies in the Usborne book, particularly in how the catholic church is portrayed. I've looked at the examples that they've provided, and don't find them convincing. For example, one mentions the conflict between Pope Gregory VII and the Emperor, Henry IV. The claim that the pope made Henry stand in the snow for three days is one that I've seen in adult history texts.Read more ›
I use this with my first, second and third graders for our homeschool. We chose this from the recommendation of "The Well Trained Mind" by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. It is a very affordable option for a full four years of history (if you follow the three four-year cycles of history for classical education as suggested by The Well Trained Mind). Reading a two-page section one day allows for other books or items to be explored for the other two days of study that week.
Practical and affordable, this is a welcomed and captivating alternative to today's textbook approach to history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The information is very well put together and great for younger children. Be aware though that they strove for accurate dipictions of ancient cultures and there is quite a bit of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by cinderfairie
We love this book. It is a great tool as we homeschool this year.Published 13 months ago by ceegee74
This was one of my favourites as a kid and now my kids have it too! Great for young readers and the illustrations are excellent. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alexander Yasbek
This is an outstanding resource. It covers from about 10,000BC to the early 1900s. The information and illustrations give children (early to mid-elementary age) a rich... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lisa Munson Crews
Great insight of world history for my 11 and 10 year old children!Published 15 months ago by Son T.