Smartopedia: The Amazing Book About Everything.
Contains Illustrations, Index
Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.
While the word everything in the subtitle is definitely hyperbole, those intermediate grade children who love accumulating facts will delight in Smart-opedia’s readable bite-sized contents, which are grouped under four major headings: “Amazing World!,” “Live it Up!,” “Then and Now,” and “Genius at Work!” In turn, each of these principal divisions is subdivided twice more, resulting in the smallest units being pairs of facing pages which focus on a single topic. For example, “Amazing World!” contains sections on “Astronomy” and “The Earth” with the latter being further subdivided into “Our World,” “All Around the Sun,” and “A Planet of Rocks and Fire.” Because Smart-opedia’s scope is wide, with its contents spanning the sciences as well as the social sciences and humanities, coverage of any topic is brief but still sufficient to whet readers’ interest in seeking out more detailed information sources…
Printed on heavy glossy paper, the book’s visually busy pages are chockablock with full-colour illustrations, mostly cartoon-style artwork but also some photographs, as well as brief explanatory text connected to each of the illustrations. Eight additional features interspersed throughout Smart-opedia include myths and legends, career facts, Q&A’s, timelines, statistics, spotlights on significant historical figures, and “Tune In,” which deals with some topics in greater detail. The final bonus feature is “Know-It-All News,” which resembles a page from a newspaper and contains “news” stories focusing on a single topic. A five-page index closes the book. While Smart-opedia can be read cover- to-cover, youngsters, attracted by its visuals, will more likely browse its contents. Recommended.