OXFORD JUNIOR ENCYCLOPAEDIA: Vol. I -- Mankind by

OXFORD JUNIOR ENCYCLOPAEDIA: Vol. I -- Mankind

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the first volume of a projected twelve volume junior encyclopaedia, and examination of the volume makes evident its value as a reference tool, volume by volume -- an important factor in considering purchase of the series. The arrangement is topical- with major subjects for each volume:- 1-Mankind; 2-Natural History; 3-The Universe; 4-Commerce; 5-Great Lives; 6-Farming-Fisheries; 7-Industry and Commerce; 8-Engineering; 9-Recreation and Crafts; 10- Law and Order; 11- Home; 12- The Arts. A chart of the headings and inclusions in each volume appears in this first volume, and cross-references within the topics themselves will, in final analysis, extend the scope and value. It is designed as a basic reference tool for school- rather than home- libraries, and material included in school textbooks is deliberately omitted except in so far as necessary to understanding. This- since the editing is primarily English- is a factor to consider in use in American schools, and, to a lesser degree, in Public Libraries. History, for example, is mainly under headings of effects and the biographies of those who lived to make it. The assumption of coverage in school goes beyond what are the requirements in American schools, unfortunately. On the other hand, science and technical subjects receive shorter shrift than the American young people might demand. The individual entries have a maximum length of 2000 words. The arrangement is alphabetical. In general- based on fairly extensive sampling- I'd say the presentation was competent but uninspired. Compared, for instance, with the lively reading Compton's offers, the American boy and girl would find this rather middle of the road and sometimes dull. A useful, dependable tool for reference, but not as much of a challenge as I'd hoped.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1949
Publisher: Oxford