Stephen Biesty's Incredible Everything

Book review by
Tanya Smith, Common Sense Media
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Brief, commonsense explanations.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the entries use straightforward language, with difficult terms explained in parentheses and inventive art.

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What's the story?

Stephen Biesty's Incredible Everything is for inquiring minds who have wondered how rocket ships fly to the moon, how chocolate bars are made, or how milk gets to market. An impressive wall-to-wall pictorial, this book offers brief, commonsense explanations leavened with a dash of humor. Other topics in this beautifully illustrated reference book include locomotives, mummies, and athletic shoes.


Is it any good?

This jam-packed reference book boasts wall-to-wall illustrations and text bites. While the entries are not overly detailed, the pictorials will spark imaginations and spur many kids on to further exploration. One of the best entries is a four-page spread on the Saturn V rocket: Each layer of the rocket is examined, and the rocket's interior is displayed in a cutaway illustration. Along with the technical explanations (made kid-friendly), most entries contain odd bits of history or interesting factoids.

Some of the layouts may be hard to follow at first. The pages are crowded, and bits of information run and cascade every which way around the illustrations. Eager readers will soon get the hang of the twisty format, but the crowded layout may overwhelm or turn off readers who lack enough patience or concentration. Difficult terms used within the entries are explained in parentheses.

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