Oxford American Children's Encyclopedia: 9-volume set

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9780195110814: Oxford American Children's Encyclopedia: 9-volume set

The completely up-to-date Oxford American Children's Encyclopedia is a reference work designed to meet the interests and needs of American schoolchildren. The nine-volume set offers a solid foundation of knowledge in social studies, history, geography, language arts, science, math, sports, and the arts, including literature, music, painting, dance, and entertainment.
Volumes 1-7 cover more than 1,500 subjects, offering accurate and clearly written articles on everything from A - Z, from Aircraft and the American Revolution to Zippers and Zoos, from Ballet, Baseball, and DNA to Mummies, Space Exploration, and Wolves. Also included are fact-filled entries on every U.S. state and territory, the continents, and leading nations of the world.
Volume 8, Biography, profiles the lives of nearly 600 famous men and women throughout the history of the world--artists, writers, composers, explorers, scientists, and political leaders, including all U.S. presidents.
Volume 9, Index, Gazetteer and Timeline of World History, includes a carefully prepared index of more than 15,000 entries, as well as a gazetteer featuring every country in the world (and its flag) and detailed world map and world history timeline.

Special Features:

- The only encyclopedia specifically designed for 8- to 12-year-olds
- Articles relate directly to American school curriculum
- 2,081 articles, heavily illustrated with thousands of stunning color maps, photographs, diagrams, and original art
- Informal and friendly text--designed with children, for children
- Material reviewed by expert academic and educational consultants
- Entries arranged alphabetically for ease of use, with extensive cross-referencing
- Margin notes in each article offer fascinating details and up-to-date facts, including records and statistics of special interest to American schoolchildren
- Profiles of all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 5 U.S. possessions
- Biography volume includes more than 200 fascinating prominent Americans, U.S. Presidents, painters, writers, composers, and statesmen, plus over 400 prominent figures from the rest of the world
- Ideal for school projects and reports, research, homework, and for general knowledge
- New articles on American history and populations, including immigration, Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans
- Cross-references make connections to related articles
- Eye-catching photographs illustrate the key concepts
- The text is broken into easily readable sections, with clear sub-headings
- All the articles on the page are listed in headings
- Diagrams reinforce and expand the information in the text
- Fascinating facts and figures in the margins keep the main text uncluttered
- Exciting ideas for activities and experiments
- Each letter of the alphabet has a different colored panel for easy reference

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From Booklist:

Oxford American Children's Encyclopedia is an updated, and in many ways a livelier, version of its British predecessor, the seven-volume Oxford Children's Encyclopedia (1994). "Created especially for American children ages 8^-12," it contains 2,081 articles, including 650 revised articles, 300 new illustrations, and more than 1,000 new entries on American themes. The first seven volumes cover subjects from aardvark to zoos. The intent is not only to cover school-related topics but to grab the curious reader with articles on baseball, cartoons and comics, monsters, and MTV and rock music. Some articles (e.g., American Revolution) are given three pages, but many get only one-half to two-thirds of a page. This generally works for the age level intended, but the half-page article stock market does not enable the child to find out how to play the stock market as claimed in the introduction; it merely describes what stock markets and bull and bear markets are. The accompanying picture adds very little.

Overall, however, the illustrations, most of which are in color, are an outstanding feature of this encyclopedia. Automobiles features an excellent diagram of a modern American car, with its various systems color coded. There is some inconsistency in the maps. Many countries get a combination geographical-topographical map; others get only a locator map or a very sketchy map. For example, Ireland has a map showing political divisions, major cities, and some topography; while on the same page Iraq, certainly in the public eye, is only shown in its location in the Middle East. Other questions in a work directed at American children: Why are courts in the United Kingdom given two sections in the article law and legal systems? Why is each state identified in parentheses as "U.S.A." ?

The eighth volume in this set contains biographies briefly describing the lives of nearly 600 famous men and women from the U.S. and around the world who lived between 2000 B.C. and today. The biographies are cross-referenced from the other volumes, and each biography is followed by a see also reference to the subject area(s) associated with that person (e.g., Anne Frank's article refers the reader to concentration camps, Nazis, and World War II). The article on President Clinton ends with mention of corruption and financial investigations following his 1996 election. Sketches of the presidents are done against a yellow background and are not particularly good likenesses.

The index volume, number nine in the set, may be primarily useful for its gazetteer showing countries of the world and their respective flags. Each flag is accompanied by the country's capital, population (no date given), and area. A time line of world history giving events starting before 10,000 B.C. through 1991 is included. Instructions on how to use the index itself are good. The encyclopedia is well bound with well-spaced, clear dark print. Its tight gutters will make photocopying difficult.

Some articles are simple; others, such as Aeneid, DNA, economics, and ocean zones, are geared to older readers. Primary use will be for class assignments, especially for projects demanding good illustrations of, for example, types of bridges, the layout of an English church, diagrams showing how electricity is distributed, or how a fax machine works. Students who just need a little information (e.g., who invented antibiotics) will find this set useful, as will younger kids seeking information on topics hard to find at their level. Not an essential purchase but useful where short, well-illustrated articles on a wide variety of subjects are in demand, whether in school or public libraries or at home. A comparable set, the 10-volume New Grolier Children's Encyclopedia (1998), is also nicely illustrated but has fewer main entries and briefer biographies.

Review:


"An attractive set with a thoroughly modern look.... The articles are up-to-date and provide more detail than a quick look might indicate... Full-color photos, reproductions, drawings, or sidebars illustrate every page.... An easy-to-use index..., the guide words in bold print on the top of each page, and see-also references make this an accessible tool, useful for both beginning research and browsing. Middle schoolers... will be the best audience for this resource."--School Library Journal


"An updated, and in many ways a livelier, version of its British predecessor... The illustrations, most of which are in color, are an outstanding feature...The encyclopedia is well-bound with well-spaced, clear dark print...Students who need a little information will find this set useful, as will younger kids seeking information on topics hard to find at their level."--Booklist


"The best in family reference books. The brief entries in the multi-volume Oxford American Childrens Encyclopedia are just right for third and fourth graders. The easy-to-navigate set has a table of contents in each volume and plenty of cross-references."--Family Life Magazine


"Young researchers will find this visually appealing encyclopedia to be approachable and easy-to-use with high quality illustrations and maps throughout.... A non-threatening starting point for reluctant researchers."--Library Talk


"This Encyclopedia is a wonderful resource for children. The language is straightforward and the entries are simple yet informative. It offers a wealth of material to encourage children's curiosity without overwhelming them with the detail of an adult reference book."--Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., Director, Media Center, Judge Baker Children's Center, Harvard Medical School


"With nearly every entry accompanied by at least one photograph or illustration, the formatted pages lend themselves to the eyes of young readers who are often intimidated by too much text. This encyclopedia is designed to get students excited about conducting their research while eliminating fruitless and frustrating searches that waste time and hamper enthusiasm."--Richmond Parents Monthly


"An education in itself: a wonderfully comprehensive and accessible presentation of factuality that is inviting as well as instructive--a real companion for children, for parents and teachers as well."--Robert Coles, Harvard University


"Like its predecessor, which was designed primarily for a British audience, The Oxford American Children's Encyclopedia is splendidly written, generously illustrated, and a pleasure to use both as a reference book and as a reading book. I envy any child lucky enough to own it."--Justin Kaplan, General Editor, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations


Praise for the award-winning Oxford Children's Encyclopedia:


"Splendidly written, generously illustrated, a pleasure to use."--New York Times Book Review


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