As You’ve Never Seen it Before

Smithsonian Knowledge Enyclopedia: The World as You’ve Never Seen it Before

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 5.26.43 PM

The downloadable poster of this book

My home library is full of DK (Dorling Kindersley) books I’ve purchased over the past 20 years or so. They are so informative, colorful and are of the highest quality in every way, including this title I received a few days ago. I haven’t been able to put it down, so I am very excited to share it with you today – on the first day of its publication.

  • Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School (Ages 8-15)
  • Genre: Non-Fiction Encyclopedia
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Division of Penguin Group
  • Publication Date: September 16, 2013
  • Binding: Highest Quality Hard Cover 12.3″ X  10.4″
  • Printing: Full color illustrations
  • Length: 360 Pages
  • Retail: $29.99
  • ISBN: 978-1465414175

Really? Are Encyclopedias Still Being Published?

The truth of the matter is that Googling topics on the internet is not the be-all-end-all when it comes to obtaining precise information. But I sure do trust Smithsonian and DK Publishing to get it all right and put it all together in the most brilliant way.  Many encyclopedia companies have stopped manufacturing physical book volumes of their titles, but a unique, ultra sophisticated version like this one is a welcome sight.


“The sun is a nearly perfect sphere of hot, glowing gas. Its source of power lies buried deep in the central core, where a nuclear furnace rages nonstop, turning matter into pure heat and light.”

Extraordinary – From Images to Information

DK Publishing used state-of-the-art CGI technology in order to produce 3D rendered images that explore the wonders of the world in unprecedented detail. This involves computer-generated graphics that allow the viewer to see what has never been seen before. It is this very mesmerizing technology that has changed the way movies are made..

Within this meaty book’s 360 pages are six chapters: 1) Space and Earth; 2) Nature; 3) Human Body; 4) Science & Technology; 5) History& Culture; 6) Reference section with charts, maps, flags, tables and a glossary. The useful index will help readers find what they’re looking for quickly.

It takes an entire team of scientists, illustrators, designers, writers, editors and more to complete a project of this scope. I am impressed with the way the book is written, as it covers a lot of detailed, sophisticated information, but in a way that will not overwhelm the children who read it. Nor do the writers talk down to the readers.

I learned so much while perusing the pages, that I cannot even begin to share all that information with you. But if I had to choose my favorite sections, they would be The Big Bang Theory, Insects, Human Digestion and Shakespeare’s Theater.


“Both in terms of species and sheer numbers, insects outnumber all other animals on earth.”

Three Reasons Why You Must Buy this Reference Book

1) For starters, what is even more fascinating than how truly fascinating this book is, is the fact that it retails for only $29,99! How is it possible to create a book with a plethora of knowledge and visual splendor such as this, (with 360 pages!!) for that price? What a valuable additional this would be to both home and classroom libraries.

2) There is nothing that can replace holding a physical book in your hands, turning the pages and getting so engrossed with the images that your curiosity soars higher than it’s even been before. The difference between learning with a book like this vs. surfing the web is that all this essential information is right in your hands. You don’t have to hunt for it. And because the book is so extensive, you and your child are sure to learn many things you did not even know existed, just by turning the pages. You cannot turn the pages online, and you’re unlikely to find anything for children about science and history on the web that will capture their attention the way this will.

3) Exceptional, sophisticated  books like these are what inspire children to become scientists. I can testify to that firsthand, as my daughter is a college student studying geophysics and just spent a summer doing an internship with NASA.  Her personal library still includes many non-fiction science books from her childhood, and she is not ready to part with those books any time soon.


“Wrapped around your body like a protective overcoat, your skin forms a barrier between the inside of your body and the outside world.”

Further Learning

  1. Download the free poster and access the Teacher’s Resource Guide.
  2. Have the children choose a section in a chapter and research the types of careers one may have in that field.
  3. Encourage middle and high school students to use this book to come up with a topic for their science fair project.
  4. Challenge children to create a diorama  of one of the 3D images in the book.

If you like this book, you may also like A Day in the Life of Your Body.

All pages and images © copyright of DK Publishing.

1 Thought.

  1. Pingback: Kaboom, Wham, Gurgle, Spurt! Volcano! | Smart Books for Smart KidsSmart Books for Smart Kids

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *