Weird World of Wonders: British
Basingstoke, Macmillan, 2012, 156p
I had thought this new series of non-fiction books for children might have been similar to the Horrible Histories collection, and was setting myself up for the same format, when in fact it was oddly different, and I cannot pinpoint exactly how.
This Weird World of Wonders book is about the British, charting the history of the Empire from it's rise in the Victorian era to it's fall in the last one hundred years. Weirdly, this book begins by talking more about the Spanish than the British, but Robinson does explain why this is. There is a lot of information in this little book with pages crammed with drawings, jokes and facts.
But it does not have quite the spark of so many of its contemporaries. The comedy is rather too much like dad jokes, and there are no little diversions and snippets of fun facts. Unlike some similary non-fiction books, a young reader could not jump in and out, as the information is too linear.
I think a lot of interesting things are happening in the world of non-fiction for young readers, and this does not engage with some of the best methods and tropes available, despite offering some brilliant factual information.