Re-Commendation: Eyewitness Books

The illustrated guide to pretty much everything.

entries on, for example: most of the major world religions, religion and mythology in general, various periods of world history, most kinds of animals, geology, geography and culture, and science and technology.

As I kid, I’m pretty sure I checked out every last Eyewitness book from either my school or local library. Except, of course, the ones about bugs. Because bugs are gross. And the one about mummies, because mummies scared the heck out of me.

Picture is largely unrelated; I just needed more visuals.
Photo by Ekrulila on

The Eyewitness books each contain a not-insubstantial amount of content: each book I looked at for an example had exactly 72 pages — but it’s a big series, so I can’t say for certain if that’s an absolute rule. Now, that might seem daunting for a young reading, but most of those pages are filled with pictures, and some of those pages are only pictures.

An example of a page of an Eyewitness book.
From Eyewitness Mythology: DK Limited.
Image via DK’s company website.

And that’s the biggest strength of the series.

While the books have enough information in writing to teach kids something, the fact that everything is there for them to actually see is going to do most of the teaching. With the Eyewitness books, kids can see what a Roman legionnaire actually looks like, what a viking actually looks like, what the stages of a butterfly’s metamorphosis actually looks like, what a great white shark actually looks like when it’s biting into a chunk of bait (which incidentally, was my favourite part of the Sharks book).

If nothing else, it also means that the series is filled with some very pretty books.

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