One reason I don't like
this book is that it is not well sourced, and does little to encourage me to look and read outside this text at all. No consultation with historians, librarians, or other experts is cited. The virtue of the unique illustrated cross sections give this book a lot of reasons to stand alone, but it's not right for Biesty to hide his research. Shouldn't this have been what DK added for a 2013 edition? This dragged the book down to a 3 from a 4 for me.
Anyway, Biesty's cross-sections are perfect for the DK standard format, because titles in the Eyewitness series don't always offer something worth looking at repeatedly in the central image. Biesty's illustrations make you sit and look, and look, and look again. Another reason I like this book is because it contradicts the Common Core directly by providing what I would call 'scaffolded' text. When I am not already interested in a mundane topic, I can count on DK to know how to draw me in and walk me through a broad range of subtopics. I would say breadth within a topic rather than depth is DK's strength in this format. But because of the broad range and the small amount of text, the information is largely surface-level.
This title exemplifies what I expect from Dorling Kindersly's informational text, and delivers even better than the more developed Eyewitness series.
1. Each double-page spread is a self-contained informational text, covering a complete sub-topic.
2. There is a main central image and a main central text to focus me.
3. There are a few or several side images with their own caption- or label-style text to encourage within-page browsing.
4. The main image is captioned or labeled to encourage multiple ways of looking at the center.
I love this format. It makes me want to spend time on the single spread, and to go back to favorites when browsing around. It also encourages browsing, because while there may be a progression to the order I don't need to read in order.
YIKES! As far as I could tell, there is nothing changed from the 1994 original edition other than the cover art and some small design features around the peritext at the beginning of the book. However, DK did NOT put any information in the peritext to suggest that this is a new edition of the old book. That's illegal, isn't it? They've made it look like this is a brand new 2013 title.