Pick Me Up

David Roberts, Created by, Jeremy Leslie, Created by Pick Me UpDK

This attractively designed, airily laid out volume—a departure from DK's signature look, but every bit as inviting—will be a hit with kids, especially those who love record books and almanacs. Organized randomly like the popular "miscellany" books of the 19th century, the eclectic contents merge pop culture—music, fashion, movies, technology—with school topics such as nature, math, politics and geography. Thus, readers discover a book that asks the burning question—what would the blog of an 11th-century Viking contain?—and provides an answer, too, with a mock web page from Hilde Torfadottir, age 13, born during "corn cutting time AD 988." Yet nearly every brief essay includes a reference to a related topic on another page, simulating hyperlinks in book form. In addition to fun trivia, the resource includes useful instructions on how to make a sling, as well as provocative topics, such as a quote from Abraham Lincoln ("The ballot is stronger than the bullet"), followed by a single word in all caps: "Discuss ." Full-color photos and eye-catching graphics give this "un-encyclopedia" an engagingly fresh look, but the best feature is the tone of the writing, which winks at its audience and respects kids' intelligence. A timeline charting evolution notes three billion years of nothing but small complex cell organisms: "All this time and still no fish." Instructions on how to make a map begin: "A map is a way of telling a story. What the story is about depends on who the map is for." The title is an invitation; the challenge will be putting the book down. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/02/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Children's
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