Monday, August 20, 2012

Big Book of History

book cover
Big Book of History
by Laura Welch

ISBN-13: 9780890516232
Hardcover containing fold-out chart
Publisher: Master Books
Released: October 2011

Source: Borrowed from my father.

Book Description from Publisher's Website:
Families, schools, and churches can unfold 15 feet of the most interesting history of the world. This easy to follow, color-coded, multi-stream timeline teaches six thousand years of world history to children ages seven through thirteen. These exciting facts and so much more wait inside:

  • who were the first emperors of China and Rome 
  • what discovery unlocked the secrets of a forgotten language 
  • how modern robotics had its roots in the tea dolls of Japan 
  • where Christians faced death for the entertainment of thousands 
  • why the languages of Greek and Hebrew were used to write the Bible and 
  • how the Age of Discovery meant wealth some, and the destruction of civilization for others.

Understanding how the past has shaped our future will inspire young learners to make history for themselves!

My Review:
Big Book of History is a timeline of earth's history that measures 14 inches tall and 15 feet long. It's folded up inside a hard cover book to protect the chart, but it can also be looked at inside the cover a "page" at a time. It covers history from 4004 B.C. for Creation to 2010 A.D.

The timeline covered significant Biblical events, world events, inventions, and beginnings of civilizations and empires. The date for each event is easy to spot, and the timeline is easy to follow. The events selected are important and interesting ones. The pictures and sidebox comments about timeline events were colorful and engaging.

The timeline seemed to use 3 or 4 different sources for the dates, though, including secular dates. This led to a few odd and incorrect entries. For example, we're told that the Great Pyramid was finished around 2500 B.C., and the Great Flood is listed after that at 2347 B.C. and the founding of Egypt is given after that in 2188 B.C. So we have the Great Pyramid built before Egypt. We have Solomon made king in 1015 B.C., the Divided Kingdom (which happened after Solomon died) as 975 B.C., and Solomon building the temple after that, in 957 B.C. The temple was actually started in the 4th year of Solomon's reign, not after he died and the kingdom divided. We have Jesus born in 4 or 5 B.C., his baptism in 26 A.D., the temptation that happened immediately afterward as happening in 27 A.D., and both John the Baptist and Jesus dying in 33 A.D. This is much longer than the usually quoted 3.5 years from baptism to crucifixion.

It's too bad that the obvious errors weren't caught and corrected as otherwise this would be an excellent timeline.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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