The Secrets of Stonehenge, by Mick Manning (Author) and Brita Granström (Illustrator) (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
This is a factual picture book aimed at older children charting the history of Stonehenge. Starting from the Mesolithic nomadic hunter-gatherers, through the first farmers to Stonehenge as a modern tourist destination. It examines how the henge was built, how it changed over time and what it may have been used for.
Each page bursts with movement and Brita Granstrom’s characteristic lively illustrations dominate each page. An information packed paragraph starts each page, and annotations, and speech weave through the pages. Packed with information, and theories about Stonehenge, but without overwhelming or being boring in way that factual books often are.
Side panels on each page clearly separate out the background information. The multi-layered illustrations and writing mean that this book can be used on many levels – as a simpler picture book by focusing on the illustrations and annotations, right up to a summary of Stonehenge for adults.
My only gripe is that I would have preferred to see the dates in the very attractive timeline at the back use BC/BCE as well as years ago. This would make it easier for younger readers to put Stonehenge into wider historical context.