Friday, July 27, 2012

Great children's books for home or classroom

UPDATE: Quick update to the post that follows and was written last week. This week ALDI is selling some brilliant Australian picture books, many that are award winners. These include 'Edward the Emu' by Sheena Knowles, 'Olga the Brolga' by Rod Clement and other excellent books by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley. All for $4.99.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've discovered at least two previous caches of 'book treasure' at my local ALDI store. Known more for the food items from international companies sold at cheap prices, occasionally their centre aisle promotional products feature some good children's books. This week the Australian stores are featuring quality non-fiction at VERY cheap prices.

Part of the selection of DK Eyewitness titles

ALDI has a whole range of the excellent Dorling Kindersley (DK) 'Eyewitness' non-fiction books. While there are almost 200 titles in this series, ALDI has about 20 of them on sale for $2.99 each. DK has sold over 50 million of these books, published in 36 languages. The books have been available in an ever-increasing range of titles for over 20 years. They helped to revolutionise non-fiction books for school-age children and young adults. The key to their success has been the non-linear way that content is presented with lots of wonderful illustrations and graphics and bite-sized chunks of information. Another feature of the books is that each page has a chunk of slightly larger and easier text, with more detailed information in slightly smaller type associated with other detailed images and graphics (see samples below). The above photo shows a selection of those available and includes 'Medieval Life', 'Climate Change', 'Aztec', 'Ancient Rome', 'Seashore', 'Shark, 'Volcano', 'Flight', 'Ancient Egypt', 'Pyramid', 'Shakespeare', 'Great Scientists', 'Shark, 'Arms and Armour' and 'Predator'. At $2.99 AUS they are very cheap and well below the recommended price on the Australian DK website.

The books use many illustrations and graphics and short text segments

Each comes with a large poster
The books are actually of excellent quality and were designed for readers from about 12 years to late high school. They are softcover but quite durable. They are beautifully designed and illustrated and filled with information that has been prepared by expert teams.  For example, Dr Simon James has written the book on 'Ancient Rome', with the support of the photography and resources of the British Museum.  If your children like history and science they will find a wealth of wonderful knowledge in these books. Each book is 72 pages long and is quarto sized with full-colour illustrations throughout.  You can 'look inside' the books on the DK website (not that it's an easy site to get around, use the search function). The books available at ALDI all come with a large wall chart inside the front cover (see below). The books are ideal for teachers and classroom and library use, or for children to explore at home. You can check out the 'Ancient Rome' book HERE.

DK has also just released a wide range of books similar to this range in e-book format via iTunes HERE.

You can read some of my other posts on non-fiction books and their value HERE.


Lily said...

Hi, my name is Lily and I'm loving your blog. I struggled to find your email address from your blog - so here's a comment instead! I work at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Currently we're running a campaign called Youth Decide: The Energy Election where young people learn about leadership, democracy, and renewable energy at their school, university, or in their community.

I was wondering if you'd be willing to host a guest post on your blog about this project and how teachers and students can get involved?



Trevor Cairney said...

Hi Lilly, I don't have guest posts and the topic isn't that close to the content of this blog. But I am supportive of initiatives that encourage young people to discuss key issues like climate change and so will tweet it to my followers.