Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Children’s Book Review, The Big Book of Australian History (2nd ed)

Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson,

You may remember that last year I reviewed The Big Book of Australian History by Peter Macinnis. It was awarded Notable Book by the Children’s Book Council of Australia in 2014. Today I’m delighted to be telling you that the book’s updated and revised edition is out and it's in paperback.

All the things I loved about the first edition are in the second. It’s incredibly comprehensive, and covers most of the main events in Australia’s history:

• Ancient Australia
• The Dreaming
• Voyages of discovery
• Founding colonies
• The explorers
• The lure of gold
• Settling the land
• The growth of cities
• Federation
• Becoming Anzacs
• Modern times
• The Great Depression
• Defending Australia
• Building for the future
• Controversial issues
• Dealing with disasters
• The sporting life
• Embracing multiculturalism
• On the world stage

But it also shares lesser-known facts. Children are encouraged to follow Macinnis down interesting rabbit holes, and meet inspirational and quirky characters. The number and range of illustrations really caters for those who love to learn visually and helps readers understand life in Australia in earlier times.

While my new copy of the book is a paperback, it's still a weighty tome at 1.3kg. The important thing to me is that even though The Big Book of Australian History is based on meticulous research, Macinnis brings our history to life for children so the book isn’t “heavy” in that sense. If you want your kids to actually enjoy Australian History, if you want to tap into their natural curiosity and love of the unusual, I recommend you grab this fine resource for home, classroom or library now.

Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.

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