Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
The Rudiments of Wisdom Cartoon Encyclopedia
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this educational Web site explains a huge variety of topics through fun and informative comic strips. Artist Tim Hunkin has collected hundreds of these strips, covering everything from acids to zoos. Each one offers a bite-sized, but detailed, explanation of a specific topic using easy-to-follow graphics that will likely appeal to young people. There’s little to do on the site other than read the cartoons -- it’s not interactive, there’s no chatting, no games or activities -- so there’s no reason for parents to be concerned.
Is it any good?
RUDIMENTS OF WISDOM looks much like a collection of comics pulled from a book and posted online -- which is exactly what it is. The British artist Tim Hunkin has been drawing these comics for more than three decades, for newspapers and in several books, and the enduring popularity of his work is a reflection of his creativity and imagination. He takes on an enormous range of topics, from chess to puppetry, bacteria to electricity, guitars to submarines and much, much more. Each comic explains a single idea or concept, using clever drawings and short text descriptions. They are very clear, effective and entertaining. But Hunkin’s work loses something when translated to the Web. There is little to do on the site other than peruse his drawings, and the lack of interactivity could make it unappealing to people, especially young people who are more accustomed to Web sites that give them more to do. This is not a statement on the quality of his excellent work, but Hunkin’s comics may be better suited to books than the Web.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about educational techniques. Do you think comics can be an effective way to learn? Did you learn something new from any of these comics?
Families can also discuss the growing popularity of graphic novels and comics in pop culture. How does telling story with pictures differ from using only words? Do you like comics? Do you think comics are art?
For kids who love creating
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.