NEW YORK — With the school year in high gear, it's a good time to consider new additions to children's home reference libraries.
For children ages 8 to 14, there is the new "The Kids' World Almanac of the United States" (Pharos-World Almanac; $14.95 hardcover, $6.95 soft cover), with history, facts and trivia about each of the 50 states.
This easy-to-use reference book features brief sketches of each state's origin and how it became part of the United States. Also included: state capitals, geography, symbols, special state events and attractions--and just plain trivia.
For example: In Oklahoma, it is against the law to get a fish drunk. Montana was named from the Spanish word for mountainous, which originated in the Latin montanus. The first capital of Utah was Filmore (1851-1856); Salt Lake City was selected in 1856.
The almanac was written by Thomas G. Aylesworth. John Lane's informative and amusing illustrations highlight each chapter.
Also new from Pharos-World Almanac: "The World Almanac InfoPedia," a single-volume visual encyclopedia designed for ages 8 to 16. It covers history, science, animal life, art, sports, language--and more. It was compiled by Theodore Rowland-Entwistle and Jean Cooke ($17.95 hardcover, $8.95 soft cover).
The InfoPedia contains 12 chapters, each of which is divided into appropriate sections with relevant information about the topic. For example, the Communications chapter includes terms in the history of writing, a chronology of printing, key dates in telegraphy and photography, and radio and TV facts.
The book has black-and-white illustrations and includes a world atlas and flags of the world in full color.
Pharos-World Almanac also publishes Aylesworth's "The Kids' World Almanac of Baseball"; "The Kids' World Almanac of Animals and Pets" by Deborah Felder; and "The Kids' World Almanac of Records and Facts" and "The Second Kids' World Almanac of Records and Facts" by Margo McLoone-Basta and Alice Siegel (all available in soft cover, $6.95 each).
"The Doubleday Children's Encyclopedia," designed for youngsters 7 to 11, bridges the gap between single-subject picture books and formal reference books. The four-volume set, edited by John Paton and Roberta Wiener, is indexed and cross-referenced, and contains more than 2,000 color illustrations ($69.95).
Over 1,300 entries cover presidents and world leaders, geography, health and biology, space, politics, nature, history and social issues. There are brief summaries of basic statistics, colorful charts, maps and diagrams. Detailed photo captions augment the main text. Simple home experiments are included.
Also of note:
"The Lost Wreck of the Isis" by Robert Ballard is the latest adventure in the Time Quest Series from Scholastic-Madison Press ($15.95 hardcover).
Designed for children 8 to 12, it tells the story of Ballard's 1988 discovery of an ancient Roman shipwreck deep in the Mediterranean Sea.