Sunday, 2 November 2014

It's National Non-Fiction November! Celebrate with a trio of awesome Usborne books!

The Usborne Big Book of Stars and Planets by Emily Bone and Fabiano Fiorin (Usborne Books)

It's National Non-Fiction November over at the Federation of Children's Book Groups and if there's one thing we definitely do want to join in and celebrate, it's the glorious renaissance going on - not just in children's books but in fantastic quality non-fiction books. 

Leading the charge, an independent publisher who were always the 'go-to' for fantastic, innovative and fascinating non-fiction books when I was a wee whippersnapper, and are still providing bang-up-to-date books that can occupy us for hours, so let's dive straight into a brilliant trio of books from Usborne Publishing. 

Starting off our article where we love to be the most - out in space with "The Usborne Big Book of Stars and Planets" by Emily Bone and Fabiano Fiorin - a slightly rejigged version of Usborne's previous space-going titles, this time brought right up to date with all the latest goings on out there in the inky black yonder. 

As the cover clamours, this book has four absolutely HUGE fold-out page spreads detailing our solar system, how stars are formed, intricate little details about the International Space Station, the Mars Rover and projects like the Hubble Telescope. To budding would-be astronauts, this is a science-fact voyage through the stratosphere that elicits all sorts of oohs and ahhs from Charlotte (and me too of course!)

From the depths of space, we take a look at something slightly more local...

"See Inside The History of Britain" by Rob Lloyd Jones and Barry Ablett (Usborne Books)
When a new "See Inside" book arrives at home, or we find one we haven't discovered yet in our local library, Charlotte grabs it with both hands with a "whoop" of glee. History is her thing you see, and Usborne's "See Inside" range is absolutely perfect for piquing her curiosity, inviting her to investigate further through innovative use of 'lift the flaps'.

"See Inside the History of Britain" is a superb round-up of the history of our fair islands, stretching back as far as early Britain, through troubled medieval times right up to Britain at War. Each double-page spread is filled with flaps and sections to reveal and explore. You can look behind the scenes at a Tudor house, or discover what lurks in a medieval forest or castle. 

Charlotte's favourite spread was in the "Britain at War" section where she spotted a rather neat homage to a certain time-travelling time lord and his wondrous blue box! Alas you couldn't lift a flap to find that the Police Box was really bigger on the inside! What a shame!)

This is a fantastic addition to the "See Inside" range for you and your would-be history buffs. 

Next from Usborne, something decidedly different!

"Survival" by Henry Brook (Usborne Beginner's Range)
This is a stunning little pocket-sized book that might just save your life (though we sincerely hope you never encounter any of the situations in this book!). Henry Brook's "Survival" in the Usborne Beginner's Range can turn you into a would-be Bear Gryllis as it offers hints and tips on how to stay alive in the most hostile situations and environments. 

Packed with awesome comic-strip-style illustrations and full colour photographs, it's reminiscent of Usborne's utterly brilliant "Spy" and "Detective" handbooks, brought bang up to date with a really modern look and feel. Based on true stories and situations, it really is a fascinating little book that won't weigh your backpack down while you're out roughing it in the woods!

Do drop by the Usborne Website where you'll find these and a whole stack of other engrossing and fabulous non-fiction titles from one of the most innovative indies out there.