A set of topical timelines offer wide-angle views of human culture, works, technology, and daily life.
In a perfect storm of poor design and superficial content, Hegarty’s highly select assortment of names and events are laid out in minuscule type—often in black against dark-colored backgrounds for extra measures of eye strain—hidden beneath small flaps or strung along irregularly dated timelines. Badari follows suit with blocky, diminutive images of buildings, human figures (nearly all white), and artifacts. Following a preliminary spread that tracks such prehistorical highlights as the descent of blond “early man” from the trees, successive spreads compare the spans of world civilizations on a quaint “BC/AD” scale. They then go on to survey more specific areas, such as progress in “The Arts” from prehistoric “little dolls,” carved to “bring good luck,” to “JRR Tolkein,” and significant “Inventions,” among which chocolate, kindergarten, and Twitter receive nods. A concluding “What’s Next?” spread with a rudimentary pop-up offers a blithe promise that robots will replace human workers and the specious claim that colonizing Mars will relieve Earth’s overpopulation.
A disaster from start to finish—Eurocentric, culturally inclusive only in the most perfunctory way, paltry both in content and in special effects. (Informational novelty. 10-12)