Following up from my New Year suggestions last week, here are two more recommendations to build on your knowledge without taxing the brain. January and February may be cold and dark, but with these, it definitely won’t be boring.
There are a number of things that make up the experience of being a kid. The Magic Key, SATs, selective hearing when it comes to grown-ups… but there’s probably one thing that stands out from all of them: The Guinness Book of World Records. And in 2024, it’s no different.
The Guinness Book Of World Records first came about in 1951. Sir Hugh Beaver, then managing director of the Guinness Brewery, was arguing about the fastest bird in Europe. When he couldn’t find an answer (bearing in mind there was no Google back then) he decided that he would take matters into his own hands. In 1955, the first edition of the Guinness Book of World Records was released and sold alongside the beer. 69 years later, sadly for adults it no longer comes with beer, but for children, it has become one of the best books to read every year. Tracking all sorts of records from the strange to the sublime and the outright silly, it’s a book that’s been on Christmas lists every year.
The 2024 edition is more packed than ever before as well, digging into the past 2,000 years of history for some of its greatest achievements, and weird ones too: have you ever wondered how far a knight can be catapulted? Well somebody did about a thousand years ago. This edition is also super accessible. Bite-sized chunks of text, surrounded by brilliant images and 3-D pullouts, make for an easy read. There’s even extra content online, scannable through QR codes in the book. You won’t find learning any easier or more fun. For less than a tenner as well!
Did you know that Olympic Gold Medals are actually made of silver? Weird, but true.
The Weird But True! series by National Geographic Kids has become a phenomenon in the world of children’s literature, captivating younger readers with its unique blend of mind-bending facts, vibrant visuals, and playful approach to learning. The 2024 edition is no different.
Similar to the Guinness Book Of World Records, there are no reams and reams of text to try and read through, just plenty of images with interesting facts. It’s eye-catching, but it will keep your attention thanks to just how weird things get. Want to see robots play football? Or play a game where you guess which poo belongs to which animal? You can do that here. And when things do get weird enough to need an explanation, everything is laid out so well and so simply that you’ll feel like an expert on the subject. It covers pretty much everything too; history, science, technology, animals, people, and more. There is plenty packed into its 256 pages.
Weird But True! is a great alternative to Google when it comes to learning without screens. It’s a great resource for any young and inquisitive mind looking to learn about just how odd our little planet is, even reluctant readers can pick this up… and likely not put it down as well.
If you want to see the titles I have suggested previously, you can follow the link here, to find out.