Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Peter Kent's Engaging Historical Books

One thing lead to another and we ended up with four of Peter Kent's books (borrowed from the library). Peter Kent is the author and illustrator of these great books that are engaging my son so thoroughly. They are a great way to provide simple historical overviews as a supplement or introduction.

Hidden Under the Ground: The World Beneath Your Feet
Complete with a table of contents, this fascinating book takes the reader on a journey through time and into underground spaces. Lots of trivia is interspersed with his detailed drawings. The usual and obvious under worlds are covered: caves, caverns, a tomb, and animal habitats. However, he gets creative and includes afterlife underworlds (middle ages perspective), cliff dwellings, hidden rockets, power plants, the street beneath our feet, and dungeons. Throughout the pages are questions to engage the reader into the pictures. The questions are mostly searching for 'how many' of something.
This book has a table of contents, introduction, a glossary, and an answers section.

Great Buildings: Stories of the Past
After the introduction, Kent takes the reader to the great pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Beauvais Cathedral, the Eddystone Lighthouse, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, the Panama Canal, the Woolworth building, the Chek Lap Kok airport, and finishes off with a summary of seven more great buildings of the world. The buildings that are focused on are covered over two double page layouts with lots of pictures and interesting facts.
 This book has a table of contents, introduction, and an index.

Peter Kent's City Across Time: From the Stone Age to the Distant Future

This was one of my son's favourites. He enjoyed seeing the progression of cities from the old stone age through the ages to modern times and into the distant future. The detailed illustrations are what really brings this book to life as this book has the least amount of text out of the four books. However, what is said is still interesting.
This book has a table of contents, introduction, a glossary, an index, and further information. The further info are online sources of information that complement what was covered in the book.

Peter Kent's Big Book of Armor: From Armadillos to Armored Cars
This was my son's favourite and he even wants to buy his own copy. Again, this is where Kent gets creative and really investigates what can be included as armor. The usual armor, throughout the ages, is discussed and illustrated in detail, but he also goes into safety suits, armored vehicles, forts, athletic gear, and animal armor.
This book has a table of contents, introduction, a glossary, an index, and further information. The added information here are lists of where to see the various armor, tanks, ships, trains, and forts in their museums around the world.



  1. These books look so neat! We had a book at home for a long time a few months ago: "A Street Through Time" by Dr. Anne Millard. The girls loved it!

  2. Thanks Susan, I've put it on hold. It looks like a similar concept, so it will be interesting to see how Millard does it in comparison.


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