Blog Tour, Book Review, Non-fiction Books

Factopia!: Follow the Trail of 400 Facts by Kate Hale & illustrated by Andy Smith ~ Blog Tour

Follow the trail of facts and create your own story in the dazzling world of FACTopia!

After learning that the horned dung beetle is the world’s strongest insect and can pull more than 1.141 times its own body weight, we take a diversion and head to pg. 40 to find out ‘Who’s creepy-crawly?’ ….

… where we discover the largest insect ever discovered was a 3000-million-year-old dragonful the size of a seagull! We then decide to head to pg. 27 to find out about insect hideouts …

And find out the slightly disturbing fact that the average chocolate bar contains some tiny insect fragments! We then follow the trail onto the next page after discovering that the airport in Brussels, Belgium, sells more chocolate than any shop on Earth — 1.5 kilograms of chocolate are bought there every minute, yum! This leads us to …

… the fact that aeroplanes leave cloud trails in the sky called ‘contrails’ — they’re formed from the water vapour released by the aircraft’s engines AND that a sheep, a cockerel, and a duck were the first passengers ever to fil in a hot air balloon!

With 400 facts in FACTopia! who knows where your curiosity will take you next! 

FACTopia! Follow the Trail of 400 Facts by Kate Hale, illustrated by Andy Smith is out now in hardback (£9.99, Britannica Books)

Follow @BritannicaBooks on Twitter and Instagram 
And find out more at

My Review:

My 11 year-old boy/girl twins spent a very happy pre-school morning looking through Factopia together. Exclamations of “Cool”, “Whoa” and “Look at this” went back and forth between them as they explored the pages. They love how all the facts are connected – one following on from another. As I listened, I found myself trying to work out the links.

Discussions about biofuels, panda poo and playing cards followed with one of them pausing to google firenadoes so they could see what they look like. When it was time to go to school, a bookmark was quickly found so they can continue reading this afternoon – the sign of a great book!

I’m sure there will be many more lively reading sessions to follow. It is lovely to see them enthusiastic about a non-fiction book full of fascinating facts about their world.

The bright orange cover is so appealing and a fact about Canadian doughnut lovers on the first page had them hooked (we’re Canadian). Inside, the bite-sized facts are easy to read and digest prompting thought and discussion long after the book has been closed. The illustrations are fun and dominate the page while the arrows between the facts prompt even the most reluctant reader to investigate further.

This book of “perfectly amazing facts” would be the perfect accompaniment to fact-loving Freddie in The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson.

Thank you to Laura Smythe PR & Britannica Books for this engaging and educational book that my children didn’t want to put down!

Kate Hale is a writer, editor and full-time fact enthusiast. A former executive editor for National Geographic Kids’ Books, she’s edited or written about everything from dog communication to wacky roadside attractions, biographies of inspiring scientists to profiles of the cutest animals on Earth. Kate also co-created and hosted the award-winning kids radio program The Weird but True Show! on SiriusXM, which covers weird but totally true facts about the human body, animals, space and everything in between. When she’s not hunting for new facts, Kate enjoys gardening, playing video games, and planning road trips to national parks. She currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.A. with her husband and rescue dog.

Follow Kate on twitter @katehalestorm 

Andy Smith is an award-winning illustrator and a graduate of the Royal College of Art, London. His work combines illustration and typography to create images that have a handmade feel, with plenty of humour, energy and optimism. When not working, Andy can be found in the studio screen printing books and posters. He lives by the sea in Hastings, East Sussex, UK.

Follow Andy on Instagram @andysmithdraws 

Britannica Books is a new reference imprint for young readers created by What on Earth Publishing and Encyclopaedia Britannica. Its mission is to inspire children’s curiosity and passion for learning, offering engaging nonfiction books that you can trust, with experts behind every page. The Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia was the first book to launch under the imprint, selling over 60,000 copies across all editions in its first three months. The books launching under the Britannica Books imprint set a new standard for exploratory learning, with stunning visuals, depth of information and highly engaging content. 

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

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