Time for Kids Almanac 2013

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There is more than one almanac for children on offer on the Bookazine shelves, but the helpful shop assistant at the Big C Extra store steered me to this one, the Time for Kids publication (ISBN 978-1-60320-921-2, Time for Kids Books, 2012) as her pick of the genre.

If the promise on the back cover is anything to go by, the credits for this book included that it was the winner of the Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice award, winner of the Association of Educational Publishers award and the A-List pick by the Family Fun magazine.  Impressive qualifications indeed.

It is up to the minute as far as today’s technology is concerned, a technology that your children have probably a better handle on than you, ‘smart phones’ being an obvious example.

The various sections in the almanac include What’s in the news, Animals, Body and Health, Calendars and holidays, Computers and communication, Countries, Dance and drama, Energy and the environment, Food and nutrition, Geography, Government and law, History, Inventions, Language and literature, Mathematics, Money, Movies, Music, Science, Space, Sports, Transportation, Weather and What’s next (and more that I skipped on).

In each section there are questions related to the subject, and at the back of the book are the answers, so the reader is not left wondering!  As well as the answers, there are photo credits and an Index, so it is compiled correctly as an almanac should be.

I am quite sure that there will be details which have escaped your memory over the years, for example, did you know that a Coleopterist is someone who studies beetles (I didn’t).

One area where I believe this book falls down is there is no indication of the age group of the prospective readers, or at whom the publication was angled.  This book will not be bought by children, but by parents and grandparents, and for those groups it is difficult to know what is suitable or otherwise.  I know my own children were well in advance of myself comparatively at their stages in life.  I think that the age group that will get the most out of this almanac would be 12-16 years old – I think!

The 240 pages have masses of detail, though there are some omissions.  Queen Elizabeth II is mentioned for her amazing duration on the throne, but no mention of Thailand’s King Bhumibol, who is the longest serving monarch.

Another area which I thought could have been smartened up was some of the results of sporting competitions.  To put 2011 results in a 2013 almanac, for example.  Most competitions would be over by printing time, such as Wimbledon 2012.  However, I suppose they had to make a cut-off somewhere.

It is not cheap at B. 523, but it is certainly crammed with facts and information to interest young adults.  There is an unfortunate preponderance of Americana, but with this book having been compiled by the American Time magazine, this is understandable.  Provided you can get the age group of the reader right, this is an excellent buy and would be an ideal Xmas present.