The Story of Things: From the Stone Age to the Modern Age in 10 Pop-Up Spreads

The Story of Things: From the Stone Age to the Modern Age in 10 Pop-Up Spreads

by Neal Layton
     
 

An exploration of ideas, inventions, and discoveries from the Stone Age to the modern age in 10 inventive pop-up spreads
 Starting with early humans who have no things, through to farming, civilizations, inventions, steam, electricity, computers, and the world we live in now, this ingenious novelty book tracing the development of human

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Overview

An exploration of ideas, inventions, and discoveries from the Stone Age to the modern age in 10 inventive pop-up spreads
 Starting with early humans who have no things, through to farming, civilizations, inventions, steam, electricity, computers, and the world we live in now, this ingenious novelty book tracing the development of human artifacts and ideas is sure to spark childrens' imaginations. It is packed with energetic illustrations, quirky humor, and information. From ancient civilizations to Michelangelo, Isaac Newton to steam power, to modern technology—the ideas are made accessible for the very young with pop-ups, flaps, and tabs on every spread. 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Layton crafts a witty chronological chronicle of human ingenuity in this companion to The Story of Everything. Top-notch paper engineering blends seamlessly with Layton's scraggly ink-drawn characters and photo collage elements. The lives of early humans are transformed by fire and stone spears; pop-up panels show the rise and fall of four civilizations; and thought bubbles pop up over the heads of influential figures like Copernicus and da Vinci. Throughout, candid phrases convey historical milestones: "Then everyone got into electricity and petrol engines. And everything got bigger and faster." A masterful balance of humor, information, and interactive fun. Ages 5–7. (June)
From the Publisher

"It's a nice introduction to all the big questions: where do we come from? Where are we going? And why did fish grow legs?"  —The Observer

 
 

"This is an extraordinary book . . . funny brilliant and endlessly fascinating."  —Books for Children

"It's fabulous."  —The Telegraph

"A masterful balance of humor, information, and interactive fun."  —Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Brandon West
History has shaped the way we live our lives today through the creation of inventions. This novelty book chronicles the evolution of human inventions starting at the Stone Age and the discovery of fire to the medieval renaissance to our current era of computers. Pop-ups, tabs, and flaps are used to help convey the impact of new inventions in each of the six eras, including bowls, handles, paper, steam engines, electricity, and more. Each of the 10 pop-up spreads features two sentences of text with supplementary facts waiting to be discovered under the novelty folds. The book is very engaging and is effective at delivering its simple message, but don't expect a full-blown history lesson here. It may benefit young students to pair this text with supplementary materials regarding the featured inventions, if using the book as a teaching tool. The only downfall to this book, as with most novelty titles, is the fragility of its paper mechanisms; heavy usage of this book will wear out its interactive features. Regardless, this is an excellent nonfiction title for any library's collection. Reviewer: Brandon West
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Vast of scope—though necessarily superficial in depth—this 10-spread import surveys the entire panorama of technology, from the invention of shaped stone tools to flat screen TVs and musical toilets. In a chronological (and Eurocentric) progression, Layton begins with unclothed, hairy apes fleeing predators and huddling in an unheated cave, then, in a loosely drawn cartoon style, moves on to depict highly selective advances by the Romans (plumbing, public toilets) and other ancient civilizations, during the Middle Ages ("Whither is thee privy?") and Renaissance, then on through the Age of Steam and the early 20th century ("perforated toilet roll") up to today. Most of the spreads are enhanced with pop-ups, sliders, or, more commonly, very small flaps along with tiny floating labels. Readers will come away with a certain amount of misinformation—no, Manhattan's Flatiron Building was not the "first skyscraper"—but at least some hints of the ways that technology has changed our lives. And restrooms.—John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Early humans about 3 million years ago had "no things," and Layton wants to show us how they--we--got them. The artistic style is squiggly and agitated, with occasional collage photos and other overlays. Pictures run in double-page spreads punctuated by tiny identifiers ("No Plates to eat off"), foldouts and larger pop-ups. The left-hand, lower corner of each spread gives a time frame ("12,000-4,000 YEARS AGO") as readers and humanity move from pointy stones as tools to fire to civilizations, freely dispensing gags along the way. Did the ancient Greeks really invent the hula hoop? "Wheels are wheely useful!" Noting the invention of champagne by Dom Perignon is a nice touch for adult readers. "Ye Book of ye Middle Ages" centers on Europe of course, with a nod toward China for the invention of gunpowder. Perhaps the most amusing paper-engineering effect is the steam engine, which makes a chugga-chugga sound while smoke billows and three bearded guys bounce around behind. At the end, bigger and faster engines give way to smaller and faster microchips. There are several images of this title in various places within the text--very meta indeed--but no references and a lot of generalities. One might say that there is little gender or ethnic mix, but the figures are so abstract or cartoony that it may not matter. There isn't a lot of matter here, period. Curiously uninvolving, but it may get children to thinking about stuff and maybe inventing some gizmos of their own. (Pop-up/nonfiction. 5-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780340945322
Publisher:
Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
Publication date:
06/01/2012
Pages:
22
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

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