In The Beastly Best Bits Terry Deary and Martin Brown take you on a guided tour through the history of the world using their favourite bits of 20 years of Horrible Histories books. Featuring Terry's favourite stories, facts and tales and Martin's hilarious cartoons, they promise to leave the gory bits in.
My boys, especially my thirteen year old, love the books in the Horrible Histories series, and are always excited when we get selected to review one. Of course there is always a bit of a debate when they arrive, over who gets to read them first, which I guess is a good sign. I got to have a read through before the boys snaffled it away to their room. I liked that the first pages was about the History of the Horrible Histories and the author and illustrator also. I always wonder how the information, as random as it is, is found.
The books are always appealing to look at too, especially if you are interested in the unique, weird and wonderful things in history and not the same old talked about things from history. The cover is eye catching and immediately catches your attention, making you study it, and then causing you to flick through the book itself looking for some of the things you have just studied on the cover. They are jam packed full of information too, so for young tweens/teens there is plenty to keep them interested, with pictures and diagrams etc too, so less likely that they will get bored.
Both my boys enjoyed reading this one, with no complaints, and like all their horrible history books, they always pop out with...mum did you know...? mum if you..., or omg mum in 19xx blah blah did...! I like that they are learning things of interest to their age gap, so even though it may be information they will never use again for anything important, other than random conversation, it is keeping their interest in history alive and well.
All in all a very good book, and as Horrible Histories are in their 20th (I think it is) year, they are definitely doing something right, and we will continue to support them. These books not only appeal to my tween/teens but also to my 7yr old daughter, so with that in mind, they are also fantastic gift ideas, for something a little more different and less boring.
This book is a bit like the Greatest Hits of Horrible Histories. It opens with some words from the author and the illustrator. I found these pieces really interesting because it covered some of the history of the book series and how they started out. They have been going for 20 years, and were a little too young for me when they first arrived here. But now my daughter is getting older, she will start to take an interest in this sort of thing.
I read a couple of pages to both of my children last week. I found though, that aside from laughing at some of the illustrations and asking a few questions just around the pictures, they weren't very engaged. My youngest just likes to be read to, and doesn't care what I read as long as I do funny voices. For my eldest, if it is not deemed relevant to her interests, she just turns off.
I personally love history stuff and always have even as a kid. So I enjoyed reading all about the different historical periods. Each two page spread touches very lightly on another culture in time and their methods of torture etc. There is a bit about illnesses and revolutions. It is all good stuff and gory too, which for a child heading to 8 - 10 years old would probably suit very well.
The colours used are bright and vibrant. The layout is really good and easy to follow. There is a mixture of blocks of text as well as comic strip stuff to follow. Plus there are a few quizzes through out, so you can have a bit of fun testing yourself or others for what you know.
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