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Franc.World April Book Review

There’s something for everyone in this month’s book club, with a super cool tour through the history of our world and a bunch of amphibious superheroes with a serious love of ice cream.

Let’s dive in!

Usborne Encyclopedia of World History


The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History offers a vibrant introduction to the vast tapestry of human experience. Spanning from the Big Bang to the early 21st century, it condenses millennia into a manageable and engaging resource for curious young minds.


This encyclopedia sets itself apart with its stunning visuals. Packed with colourful illustrations, maps and photographs, it brings historical figures and events to life. The text itself is presented in clear, concise chunks, making it easy for children to navigate and grasp key concepts. A timeline running throughout the book further reinforces chronological understanding.

Strengths for Young Learners:


• Visually Captivating: The Usborne approach prioritizes eye-catching visuals, making history an engaging and interactive subject.
• Broad Scope: The book covers a vast amount of ground, exposing young readers to a diverse range of civilizations, empires, and historical figures.
• Accessibility: The text is well-written and avoids overly complex language, making it suitable for a wide range of reading abilities.
• Springboard for Deeper Dives: While the encyclopedia provides a foundational overview, internet links (verifiable through the Usborne website) allow curious readers to delve deeper into specific topics.


The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History is a valuable addition to any child’s bookshelf. Its engaging visuals and accessible writing make it a perfect springboard for igniting a love of history. Used alongside discussions and supplemental resources, it can equip young learners with a strong foundation for their historical explorations.

Frog Squad: Dessert Disaster

Frog Squad: Dessert Disaster by Kate and Jol Temple is a delightful adventure perfect for young readers. Stepping into a world where frogs are far from ordinary, this first book in the Frog Squad series throws us headfirst into a hilarious mission to protect the global ice-cream supply.

The story centers around the Frog Squad, a group of amphibian agents – each with their own unique skills. We meet Flip, the fearless leader with a knack for gadgets, Flo who excels at disguise, and Zip, the tech whiz who can hack anything. Their archnemeses? The Organisation of Amphibious Devious Scoundrels (appropriately nicknamed TOADS).

The plot thickens when a mega tanker filled with ice-cream is mysteriously disabled. It’s up to the Frog Squad to uncover the culprit and prevent a global dessert disaster. The fast-paced narrative keeps young readers engaged, with unexpected twists and turns that add to the excitement.

The Temples’ writing is playful and witty, incorporating amphibian puns and silly situations that will have children giggling. The TOADS themselves are a comical bunch, their outlandish plans providing a lighthearted contrast to the Frog Squad’s heroism.

Overall, Frog Squad: Dessert Disaster is a charming and entertaining read for children. With its action, humor, and positive themes, it’s a surefire recipe for a successful first book in the series. This is a fantastic choice for young readers who enjoy adventure stories with a dash of silliness.

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