Monday, 21 August 2017

The Histronauts: An Egyptian / Roman Adventure by Francis Durkin and Grace Cooke (B Small Publishing)

Now and again we're lucky enough to be contacted by publishers who are just dipping their toes in the stormy waters of children's publishing, but obviously have a library of books that are just utterly stunning and original. Let's take a look at two upcoming titles from B Small Publishing...
History - if ever there's a subject we've covered extensively on our blog, it's the sublime rise and rise of fantastic non fiction history books available to kids nowadays.

We can never get enough of them, but it takes something a bit special to really nab our attention when it comes to certain eras that have been thoroughly dug over, covered and presented.

B Small Publishing's new range of fantastically presented history titles really has made us sit up and take notice. "The Histronauts" are a plucky band of adventurous kids who just LOVE history just as much as we do. In a spin-together of fiction and non-fiction these fantastic characters travel back in time to get some first hand experience of various historical eras, civilisations and world-changing events.

First up is "An Egyptian Adventure" which is a delicious fusion of graphic novel, history non-fiction book and thrilling storytelling that will have your middle graders absolutely riveted.

The fantastic team uncover the secrets of the past, and find out what daily life was like at the height of the rise of the Egyptian Empire. Kids will join the team in learning about mummification (YES!), deciphering Heiroglyphics (and perhaps even having a go at drawing some themselves), what Egyptians ate, what they did for fun - and a ton of other amazing and interesting facts.

The plucky kids don't stop there either, they also take a closer first hand look at the Roman Empire in a second title, with the same fantastic mix of stories, facts and activities guaranteed to pique children's curiosity and help them learn more about another fantastic empire as Roman civilisation stretched out across the world.

We've heard and read a lot about the 'dumbing down' of non-fic History stuff but we can definitely state that this is not the case with these books.

It's a tricky balance to get right, making learning fun, making history engaging and most of all relevant to the audience it's aimed at, but above all making books that will really get kids as enthusiastic about history as we are, and serve as a fantastic starting point for what will hopefully become something of an obsession!

Utterly fantastic, and particular kudos to the team for the amazing artwork which really does serve as a brilliant hook into this series.

Join the Histronauts on October 1st when both "An Egyptian Adventure" and "A Roman Adventure" are published by B Small Publishing. 

(Kindly supplied for review)