Book Review, Non-fiction Books

The Humans by Jonny Marx & illustrated by Charlie Davis

The Humans is the ultimate guide to ancient civilisations for children. Celebrating how amazing humans are, it showcases the diversity, creativity and ingenuity of civilisations over time. With a focus on accomplishments and the rise and fall of groups of people, it highlights the inventions, technologies, practices and traditions that made each unique.

From the earliest humans through to the Aztecs in the 14th century, this fact-filled book is a great guide for teachers. The engaging illustrations and rich colours include interesting cultural symbols and maps – where in the world these people lived as well as a closer look at key rivers, seas and surrounding regions.  Important aspects of each civilisation are described in an appealing manner. The various contributions to human development are fascinating (e.g. glassware, instruments, clay, paper).

There is a chronological timeline showing when each civilisation began. It would be even more helpful if it were possible to see the overlap of these civilisation and how long each lasted (although that would need to be a huge timeline!) It would be a great project to do with a primary school class.

The content of The Humans is respectful and accurate. For example, there is recognition of some North American Native tribes with their individual traditions and accomplishments, rather than lumping them all together as the same. It also recognises that cultures such as the Native People of North America and the Australian Aboriginal People have not disappeared. They are still strong and important cultures with rich traditions.

The Humans ends with reflections on the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the Technological Revolution we now live in. Even though we continue to move forward, it is essential we learn from the past.

This is an amazing book for any class or school library. Children will spend hours pouring over the illustrations and facts about our history.

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for this fascinating book!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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