This Week’s Word Is “World.”
This week’s book is My Very Important World from DK books. It’s aiming to be the ultimate geography book for children around 7 upwards. It’s part of a series of books that includes Very Important Dinosaurs that I reviewed last year.
What is My Very Important World?
It’s 220 pages of facts about the world. Geography: Physical, social, human, and political is encapsulated within My Very Important World’s hardback binding. This is not just a bog-standard hardback binding, though. The front cover has been made to be tactile; filled, I guess, with a slightly squashy layer of foam.
Like most DK books My Very Important World is broken down into several sections.
1. My World.
The My World section of the book is about the reader, or more accurately what makes you, you; the things that shape our personalities. It discusses environments and experiences and nature versus nurture before moving onto some basic biology of the human body. From there we move to healthy eating, emotions, and facing your fears. This includes a fun list of unusual phobias. The My World section closes out with homes, family, and pets.
2. The World Around Me.
This section deals with how the world works on a practical level, opening with that most abstract of concepts, time. It moves on to schools and education around the globe. This section discusses how to stay safe, where our food comes from, and differences in food around the world too. Money, energy, and conservation are also found here, as is travel, technology, and the internet.
3. People and Culture.
Humanity across the planet. Language, religion, and celebrations. Clothing, shopping, and hobbies; the things we all have in common, with cultural differences explained. There’s even a page on the magic of libraries. (This page has a few DK books on the library shelves with identifiers blurred out, which struck me as interesting. No accusations of fishing for extra sales here!)
4. The Big Wide World.
Geography in it’s simplest form. Continents, countries, and climate zones. Statistics! Populations, country size, capitals, and flags. 7 year old me (and, to be fair, 46 year old me) loves these pages!
5. The Natural World.
Exactly what the title says it will be. Forests and oceans, mountains and deserts. This section is all about the physical geography of the Earth, before moving on to a few pages about its flora and fauna. Note: The animals and plants section is very small, so if you want your child to learn about that, this isn’t the best book selection, don’t worry though, DK have you covered!
6. Exploring the World.
Possibly my favorite section of the book; there’s lots here for adults too. It’s a snapshot of 20 amazing places across the globe. Neuschwanstein Castle, Burj Khalifa, and the Taj Mahal. Hitachi Seaside Park, The Great Barrier Reef, and the Uyuni Salt Flats. Christmas Island, Pompeii, and Petra. There are places of wonder, man-made, natural, and ancient here. Every continent is represented (Amundsen-Scott Station) and there are places and phenomena I’d never even heard of – The Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan and Socotra. This a great chapter for displaying just how amazing our planet is.
The book is constructed using a blend of solid color drawings and photographs. There is rarely more than one paragraph of text in any one place and each page is broken down by color panels and sidebars to ensure they remain visually enticing.
Why Read My Very Important World?
Once again DK has smashed it out of the park with this book. It’s a fabulous blend of facts and softer information. It’s perfect for children curious about the world around them. I love the fact that the opening of the book focuses on the self. Yes, the world is a huge place, filled with wonder, but the focus on the individual at the beginning of the helps young readers feel like they are the center of things.
As ever, the parceling up and delivery of information is spot on. It doesn’t feel like this book will overwhelm, despite its wealth of information. It’s perfect for dipping in and out of with something to hold the attention on every page. There’s a strong message of togetherness despite our differences and the book emphasises the importance of respecting other beliefs and cultures.
My Very Important World is an excellent book for any home or school library. It’s one you’ll return to again and again as your children grow up and want to find out more about the world around them. It’s also excellent for all sorts of homework tasks, for those of us who would rather not send their children to Google at the first sign of an investigation.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of My Very Important World, you can do so here from September 10th in the US, and here, in the UK, from 5th September, just in time for the return to school.
If you enjoyed this review, do check out my other Word Wednesday posts.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to write this review. Amazon links in this review are affiliate links.